Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has made a bold claim about Arsenal ahead of their Champions League clash against Galatasaray on Wednesday.
The former Germany international believes that Arsene Wenger’s side are a ‘dark horse’ in Europe’s premier club competition.
But there is a caveat. Calum Chambers needs to play as the defensive midfielder instead of Mikel Arteta, who, Hamann believes, has been found out in that position.
'The problem with Arsenal is the central midfield area', he told Goal.com. 'Arteta, I think, has been found out in that position for Arsenal.
'He is not a holding midfielder, and if they had a holding midfielder then I think they would be a serious contender in the Premier League and the Champions League'.
'If Chambers were to play there (holding midfield) and succeed, then I think Arsenal will be dark horse in the competition this year', added Hamann.
Arsenal’s failure (or unwillingness) to sign a defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window has been highlighted by many former footballers and pundits.
Real Madrid’s 2014 World Cup winner Sami Khedira and Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho both were strongly linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium, but nothing materialised.
Summer signing Chambers, who has played as a centre-back and right-back for the Gunners, has been suggested as possibly being deployed in defensive midfield as the season progresses, but the return to fitness of Abou Diaby has given Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger another option in that position.
The 28-year-old’s career in the last few years has been plagued by injuries, and it remains to be seen whether he can return to his best in the coming weeks.