Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta must address the spine of his side in the summer transfer window.
That is the view of former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, who delivered his verdict on what business the Gunners should get done ahead of next season after watching their 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.
Whilst being impressed with Arsenal as an attacking force, Cole wasn’t happy with the roles Gabriel Magalhaes and Mohamed Elneny played in Christian Benteke’s goal which made it 1-1 at Selhurst Park.
“When I talk about the frailties in this Arsenal team, it’s the same thing we’ve said for years and years, you hear Arsenal fans talking in the pub and it’s always the same things,” Cole said on BT Sport.
“Elneny goes down so easy [for Benteke’s goal] – you’ve got your holding midfielder and your centre-half going down with minimal touch when they should be at their most concentrated.
“I don’t want to keep harking back to the times they had Sol Campbell, Tony Adams, Martin Keown – but it must be so frustrating for Arsenal fans.
“It didn’t cost them tonight because of the quality at the other end of the pitch.
“Those situations, if you’re Elneny and you’re the enforcer, a hand goes on your back in that area, you stay up, you follow your runner. If it’s a great cross like it was and a great header like it was, you hold your hands up.
“But for both of them to be on the floor looking up when Benteke heads it in, it isn’t good enough.
“Arsenal fans are so frustrated about that situation. If they deal with that – if Arteta can address that in the summer, with the end of the season they’ve had, they can be back.
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“Maybe not challenging for the top but certainly challenging for Champions League again. So there is a lot to be positive about, but they need to address that.
“But how many times have we been saying that over the years?”
Judging by Cole’s comments, it would appear that Arteta and technical director Edu’s next two transfer moves have already been discovered following the win over Palace.