Alan Smith urges Arsenal to make these two signings this summer

Alan Smith considers the signings that Arsenal should look to make after sealing a deal to land Willian from Chelsea FC

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

Alan Smith believes that Arsenal should consider deals to sign a new defender and midfielder in the summer transfer window after wrapping up a move for Willian.

The north London side completed a deal to bring the 32-year-old Brazilian attacker to The Emirates from Chelsea FC on a free transfer on Friday as they began their summer spending under Mikel Arteta ahead of next season.

Arsenal are believed to be on the lookout for a number of new signings this summer as Arteta prepares for his first full season in charge at the club after having been appointed back in December.

The Gunners’ struggles at the back have been well-documented over the last few seasons, and the future of on-loan Dani Ceballos also remains unclear as things stand.

Former Arsenal star Smith believes that the Gunners should look to make at least two new signings this summer as they prepare for the new campaign under Arteta next season.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Smith said: “With a few quid to spend, another central defender must be on the cards. This area, in fact, is the most interesting of all.

“Will William Saliba, for instance, be given an early chance after finally coming over from St Etienne?

“Saliba, by all accounts, has tremendous potential as a classy defender in the Virgil van Dijk mould.

“I can just imagine Arteta on that training ground, working hard with the 19-year-old to instil good habits. Depending on how that goes, we might see the Frenchman let loose early on.

“Next to whom is another matter though. Will Arteta continue with three at the back, a system that helped bring about such huge improvement?”

Smith continued: “Plenty of questions there, as there are in midfield where the future of Dani Ceballos looks far from certain.

“I am sure Arteta would love to keep this clever ball player with an excellent work ethic who forged a useful understanding with Granit Xhaka. Real Madrid, of course, might have other ideas.

“Midfield would further benefit if Matteo Guendouzi can be used in a deal to recruit someone like Thomas Partey, the much-admired lynchpin from Atletico Madrid.”

Arsenal secured their place in the Europa League for next season thanks to their 2-1 win over Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final at Wembley at the start of the month.

The Gunners struggled to find consistent form in the Premier League all season as they ended up in eighth place in the top-flight table.

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