Ian Wright says it is “imperative” that Arsenal sign Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar to address a lack of creativity in their midfield.
Aouar is a top target for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who recently sanctioned an official move for the 22-year-old. However Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas described the offer as “timid”.
Aulas insisted that Arsenal’s next bid must be higher, claiming that the English side did not respect Aouar’s status as a blossoming France international.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, Wright used Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool as evidence that his former side need to sign Aouar.
The Gunners offered little creativity in midfield until Dani Ceballos’ arrival, allowing the hosts to dominate.
“It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you,” Wright said (via Goal).
“You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until Ceballos came on.
“[They need] someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it around the corner.
“From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment. That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon.
“He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. You saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on, that’s what Arsenal need.”
Arteta looks towards Liverpool for inspiration
Despite Alexandre Lacazette’s early opener, Liverpool soon took charge of Monday’s tie at Anfield. Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson scored quickfire goals to give Jurgen Klopp’s side the lead.
Diogo Jota then scored on his Liverpool Premier League debut to wrap up the win.
Arteta insisted that he looked towards the defending champions as inspiration for Arsenal’s journey.
“We had our moments, they have different weapons. They have been together five years, we are in a different moment of our journey,” he said.
“They were unable to do that three or four years ago, or two years ago.
“But you can see the standards are this, this is what we have to reach.
“We have a long way to improve but I am really pleased the way the team competed. We stayed in the game for 85 or 90 minutes and that is not easy to do here.”
Asked if he will strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes next week, Arteta replied: “We are trying to improve the team. It is a week to go.
“We don’t know what will happen.”
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