John Hartson urges Mikel Arteta to axe three Arsenal stars

Mikel Arteta needs to reshuffle his Arsenal defence ahead of next season, according to John Hartson

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

John Hartson has urged Mikel Arteta to axe David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac after Arsenal’s defeat by Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

The Gunners suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to their local rivals on Sunday as they slumped to their third defeat in the Premier League since the return of top-flight action last month.

Kolasinac and David Luiz were at fault for Son Heung-Min’s equaliser at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while lapse defending allowed Toby Alderweireld to head home a winner in the second half for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Arsenal defence has long been called into question, with the north London side having been widely criticised for their failure to build a solid back-line in recent seasons.

The summer transfer window will present Arteta with the chance to add to his squad ahead of his first full season in charge at The Emirates.

And former Arsenal star Hartson believes that the Gunners would be wide to consider a major rebuild in their defence ahead of next term.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Hartson said: “Ideally, I’d like to replace all three, [Shkodran] Mustafi, Kolasinac and [David] Luiz, but I don’t think he’s going to replace all three.

“Rob Holding does OK when he comes in, still relatively young, I think the two full-backs [Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin] are decent, [Bernd] Leno in goal, I like [Dani] Ceballos, [Lucas] Torreira, [Granit] Xhaka he seems to like.

“For me, I would get rid of all three [defenders] if I possibly could but I don’t think that’s going to happen, but, all three of them I’m not sure they’d get in of any of the top four teams.”

Arsenal will make one addition to their defence this summer, with William Saliba set to join the Gunners after they agreed a deal to sign him from Saint-Etienne last year.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Wednesday night when they host Liverpool FC at The Emirates.

After that, Arteta will prepare his side for their FA Cup semi-final showdown against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

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