Martin Keown: Arsenal need to make five key changes ahead of next season

Martin Keown assesses the state of the Arsenal squad ahead of next season

Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown believes that Mikel Arteta needs to make at least five changes in his starting 11 at Arsenal ahead of next season.

It has been a mostly disappointing season for the north London side, with the Gunners having been knocked out of the cup competitions and having struggled to find consistent form in the Premier League.

Arsenal are currently outside of the Europa League qualification spots and it remains to be seen whether the Gunners will be able to book their place in Europe for next season.

The Gunners are likely to be on the lookout for a number of potential new signings in the forthcoming summer transfer window as Arteta looks to assemble a team capable of breaking back into the top four next season.

Former Arsenal defender Keown feels that the Gunners have plenty of changes to make ahead of next season.

Speaking in an interview quoted by the Daily Express, Keown said: “Well it’s a time for change in terms of the players, personnel.

“One to 11, if you go right through the team, [Bernd] Leno’s not signing a new deal by all accounts, [Hector] Bellerin at right-back is not holding that position down, the two central defenders, you’d say there is uncertainty over who is going to play there.

“Tierney the left-back is probably the only one who is a shoe-in as a defender.”

He continued: “You run right through the team and it’s the young kids really that are the backbone of the team. Saka, Smith Rowe have been outstanding this season.

“I think a minimum of maybe five changes. I think the front players are still good – I’d keep Lacazette, I like him actually in the club.

“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s had his problems this season, Martinelli needs to be used more, maybe on the wing perhaps.

“Then you’ve got Saka to play, Smith Rowe, make sure they build those careers.

“But they need a base in midfield, Partey needs a partner alongside him, they need to spend there.

“Gabriel has been disappointing as a central defender, David Luiz is about to leave.

“So there is huge surgery to be made by the manager.”

Arsenal will take on Crystal Palace in their penultimate Premier League game of the season on Wednesday night.

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