August 1, 2021

‘Holding isn’t good enough, Arsenal need a centre-half’ – Arteta urged to add by Robson

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The former Gunners midfielder feels the current defensive options at Emirates Stadium fall short of the standard required to make future progress

Arsenal need to be bringing in another centre-half during the summer transfer window, says Stewart Robson, with Mikel Arteta told that the likes of Rob Holding and Sead Kolasinac are “not good enough” to deliver future success.

The Gunners ensured that they brought down the curtain on their 2019-20 campaign with major silverware when beating Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

Holding lined up alongside David Luiz and Kieran Tierney as part of a three-man defensive unit in that contest.

Robson believes faults in his game were exposed against Chelsea, despite landing a winners’ medal, while there are still question marks hanging over Brazil international Luiz and his ability to deliver on a consistent basis.

Arteta is expected to try and address those issues over the summer with recruitment plans being drawn up, and movement is being predicted in and out of Emirates Stadium when it comes to defensive personnel.

“They’ve still got to get good centre-halves,” Robson, who spent six years with Arsenal in his playing days, told ESPN FC.

“Holding I think proved that he’s not going to be quite good enough. Every time someone ran at him they got past him. David Luiz is past his best and still got mistakes in him.

“Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] isn’t going to be there I would imagine for too much more, won’t get many games. Kolasinac I’m not sure he’s quite good enough to make Arsenal go to that next level.

“A good quality centre-half who is good in the air and can defend well, that’s got to be their priority.”

Arsenal are among those to have been linked with a move for Manchester City centre-half John Stones, with the England international seemingly edging towards the exits at the Etihad Stadium.

Ex-Gunners star Ray Parlour has told talkSPORT: “Arsenal are desperate for a centre-half, so why don’t they take a chance and try to put in a bid for Stones?

“He’s had a bad time in recent years and he hasn’t really gone to where City thought he might go to, but you don’t become a bad defender overnight, he just needs a bit of coaching. That’s where it could be key with Arsenal, because obviously Arteta has worked with him over the last few years at Man City.”