December 7, 2021

‘Arsenal need to spend again, it’s obvious’ – Gunners well short of Manchester City and Liverpool, says Ljungberg

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A man who spent time in north London as a player and coach believes Mikel Arteta will get things right if he is backed by his board

Arsenal’s need to spend again in upcoming transfer window is “obvious”, says Freddie Ljungberg, who says the Gunners are still a long way behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

Arsenal have plenty of international talent on their books, but Ljungberg feels they are light in some areas.

He wants to see those issues addressed, either in January or next summer, saying Mikel Arteta requires more funds in order to make the Gunners consistent and serious contenders for major silverware.

Ljungberg, who spent time in north London as a player and coach, told Sky Sports after witnessing Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Leeds: “It’s not easy. Like he [Arteta] said, he thinks it’s going to be a bit of a roller coaster.

“If you look at it in the last couple of years, I think they’ve got good players there, but of course they need to invest in their squad. It’s obvious for everyone to see.

“I think they did some good business in the centre-back position this summer, but if you look at the big clubs – City or Liverpool – they have top, top players in certain positions.”

Arsenal have found value in Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes, but big-money additions such as Nicolas Pepe – who collected a reckless red card at Elland Road – have failed to deliver.

Finding a solution to those dilemmas is all part of the rebuilding process for Arteta, with Ljungberg convinced that the Spaniard will get things right he can count on the full support of his board.

The Swede added: “I think you need to give Arteta a bit of time, it’s his first job in management. He needs time, like he says, he needs time in order to implement his ideas, but of course, it’s difficult.

“When he first came in, people were a little bit surprised with how he played, when we went back against the big teams, we used [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang for the counter-attack, with opposition full-backs that were too offensive.

“What I see now, when you see the Leicester game at the Emirates, they sat back a little bit, with not so much space for the full-backs to run into. I think people have seen how they play, then it comes to, how do you create the chances in a different way?”