Ray Parlour questions why Arsenal didn’t sign 33-year-old in the summer

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour questions why the Gunners didn't sign Gary Cahill on a free transfer in the summer

Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Ray Parlour says Arsenal should have signed Gary Cahill on a free transfer in the summer – and handed the experienced defender the captain’s armband.

The Gunners have a record of capitalising on free agents since Unai Emery took over the reins of the north London club back in May 2018.

However, the Gunners opted to sign Cahill’s team-mate David Luiz in an £8m deal from Chelsea FC rather than the England international.

Arsenal lost former captain Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux in controversial circumstances in the summer to leave them without their long-term leader.

Unai Emery eventually gave the armband to Granit Xhaka but the Switzerland international has seemingly struggled with the pressure and responsibility.

Xhaka was criticised for his reaction to Arsenal supporters during his substitution in the north London side’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Emery is now facing a tough decision about whether to persist with the Swiss midfielder as the club captain.

Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour believes the Gunners missed a trick when they failed to sign Cahill in the summer.

“It’s unbelievable really [letting the players choose who should be captain],” Parlour told Sky Sports, as quoted by Metro.

“When I look back at it, it’s so important having a good leader. Look, you need six or seven captains in a game but, you know, you need that figure.

“We had Tony Adams and then obviously were lucky because we had Patrick Vieira.

“They’re the sort of figures you want. At the moment, Arsenal haven’t got that, have they? That’s what they’re lacking.

“I’m looking at Crystal Palace at the weekend, Gary Cahill might have been perfect. Free transfer, centre-backs we’re really struggling, conceding lots of goals. Gary could have been straight in there as captain maybe.”

Arsenal finished in fifth spot in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a place in the Champions League.

The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League title since 2004.

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