Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has admitted that Gunners are in dire need of defenders after Shkodran Mustafi was stretchered off in the FA Cup tie against Bournemouth. They are already short of defenders with Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney already sidelined with long term injuries.
Shkodran Mustafi’s FA Cup outing had to be cut short as the German had to be stretchered off just after the hour mark. Even though Arsenal managed to win 2-1 away from home against Bournemouth to continue their progression in the FA Cup, manager Mikel Arteta has been handed a serious headache with the club plagued with injuries.
Former Arsenal man Martin Keown believes that the club will have to dive into the transfer market before the winter window closes to bridge the gap left behind by the injured Mustafi. He also added that the Gunner still have a lot to fight this season with the race for the top six and the top four still within the club's reach.
“They have lost Mustafi tonight and you'd have to say it looks like a really bad one. That will force them into the transfer market. Numerically Arsenal need a centre-back. There is so much to fight for.”, said Keown to Goal.
Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney are already sidelined with long term injuries, but with Mustafi now likely to join him on the sidelines, the club will see their depth once again tested. However, Arsenal’s youngsters were on fire as Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka on the scoresheet in the impressive 2-1 win against the Cherries and the 53-year-old was quick to praise the contributions made by a young Gunners outfit.
“But these young men should be proud of their efforts. They had quality, imagination and they showed desire.”, said the Englishman.
The North Londoners are yet to bring any new faces through the door this January, though they've seen a host of fringe players departing on loan deals including centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos. Over the weekend, they were set to sign Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, but the Spaniard returned to Brazil without reportedly finalizing details, leaving the deal in limbo.
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