Lauren identifies where Arsenal need key signing

The Arsenal legend believes Unai Emery needs to sign a commanding centre-half

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has improved the Gunners defence Photo: Bernd Leno / Instagram

Arsenal need to sign a “commanding centre-half” to make real improvements to their defence under Unai Emery, according to former Gunners star Lauren.

The Premier League club appointed former Sevilla and Valencia manager Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement in the summer after Arsenal finished in fifth spot in the Premier League table.

The north London side have bounced back impressively from losing to Manchester City and Chelsea FC by going on a long unbeaten run to highlight their new-found resilience.

While Lucas Torreira’s arrival in a £26m deal from Sampdoria in the summer has added more steel to Emery’s midfield, question marks still remain in central defence.

Shkodran Mustafi has been guilty of a number of errors in the current campaign, while England international Rob Holding is lacking in first-team experience at the top level.

Emery signed Greece international Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the summer transfer window but the 30-year-old made seven starts in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

Former Arsenal right-back Lauren believes the Gunners need to sign a leader at the back if the north London side are to make big improvements.

“I feel Arsenal could benefit from a commanding centre back,” Lauren told Sporting Bet.

“It’s been an issue for some time and I’m sure they’ll look to get a real leader who will take ownership of the back line.

“I would love to see Arsenal have a player like Sergio Ramos, who shows strong determination and leadership. Torreira will now add that to the midfield, but you need someone in defence doing the same thing.

“Arsenal need someone with the same quality as [Laurent] Koscielny, but also with the leadership skills.

“He’s a fantastic player and one of the best centre backs in the Premier League, but given he’s picking up a lot of injuries, Arsenal can’t rely on him to be fit for the majority of the season.”

Arsenal conceded 51 times in 38 games in the Premier League last term to highlight the issues at the back.

Bernd Leno has replaced Petr Cech as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper over the past couple of months.

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