Owen Hargreaves: What I think about Arsenal under Mikel Arteta

Owen Hargreaves names the one thing he is concerned about for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta this season

Owen Hargreaves
Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves (Photo: BT Sport)

Owen Hargreaves believes that Mikel Arteta has already made a major positive impact at Arsenal but he has warned that incoming defenders Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba will need time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.

Arteta has been charged with steering Arsenal back into the top four after the Gunners finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last term.

The north London side have shown some promising signs of improvement since the Spanish head coach was brought in to replace the sacked Unai Emery at the back-end of last year.

Arteta’s side managed to end last season on a high by beating Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final back in August, and they also got the new campaign off to a solid start by overcoming Liverpool FC to win the Community Shield last month.

Saliba and Gabriel are now getting used to life in England after having been brought in by the Gunners to strengthen up their options at the back.

However, former Manchester United midfielder Hargreaves believes that it will take some time for the pair to get used to the pace of the Premier League.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro before Arsenal’s opener against Fulham, Hargreaves said: “I think they’ve started to show a different side already under Arteta.

“They started to compete more against the bigger teams.

“We saw it against Liverpool, we’ve seen it against Manchester City, we’ve seen them win one-off games where you wouldn’t have fancied them before so I think they’re harder to play against.

“I think the biggest one is defensively. He’s signed a super player in Saliba, even though he’s young and Gabriel is another really good player. He’s competitive, he’s aggressive.

“But the only problem is that these two guys that he’s signed don’t really know this division. Getting centre-backs to come to this league and adapt takes time.

“Even for the great ones, we saw it with Nemanja Vidic even.

“I think he’s trying to sort the defence out and maybe having David Luiz play in the middle of those guys which would work with those young guys.”

Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Saturday when they host West Ham United at The Emirates.

The north London side have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph under Arsene Wenger back in 2004.

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