Sky Sports pundit makes claim about summer signings at Arsenal
Alan Smith explains why he thinks that Arsenal will still be able to attract the big names this summer
Alan Smith is convinced that Arsenal still have what it takes to attract top talent to The Emirates in the summer transfer window.
The north London side are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of the top four, leaving them facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Mikel Arteta will have been thinking long and hard about the forthcoming summer transfer window as it gives the Spaniard the chance to bring in the players he feels will help to bolster his Gunners squad.
With Arsenal having missed out on Champions League football for the last few years, and having struggled to challenge for the Premier League title lately, the Gunners’ ability to attract the top talent in the transfer market has rightly been questioned.
However, former Gunners star Smith believes that the north London side will still be a big draw, especially for foreign players.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, as quoted by the Daily Express, Smith said: “It’s also important to remember that Arsenal is still a very attractive club for foreign players.
“They’re one of the top London clubs. Spurs across the road are having their problems under [Jose] Mourinho.
“Chelsea, obviously, have been successful for a number of years but the infrastructure at Arsenal – the ground, the training ground, the reputation, the history of the place – still means something and they can pay big money.
“These aren’t aspects that should be overlooked. They’re a weapon for Arteta as well as his ability as a coach. It’s a slow burn, things aren’t going to happen overnight.”
Smith also underlined his belief that Arsenal are in desperate need of strengthening their defence if they want to challenge for the top honours in the coming seasons.
The former Gunners star continued: “The defence has been a problem for God knows how many years now.
“Rob Holding, I think, he’s back available. He’s always been a player that I’ve felt could become a top centre-half for the Gunners.
“You mention Saliba. These are things that are not going to happen overnight.
“Bernd Leno has become a really good Premier League goalkeeper, I think.”