Martin Keown says Arsene Wenger will spend this summer

Wenger

The ex-Gunners man says Arsenal have to spend or they risk losing two of their prized assets.

Writing in The Mail, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has predicted that under-fire manager Arsene Wenger will be busy in the transfer window this summer - and warned that he could lose Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil if he isn't.

The Frenchman, 66, came in for criticism last summer after only signing goalkeeper Petr Cech - who joined for £11 million from Chelsea - in a decision which infuriated the Gunners' faithful, and even more when it emerged that Arsenal were the only club in Europe's top five divisions not to sign a single outfield player.

By virtue of the fact that the North Londoners have been knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League, and sit 10 points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City, it is safe to say that Wenger's gamble has certainly not paid off.

One positive this season has been the form of Mesut Ozil, and Alexis Sanchez to a lesser extent, but Keown says that Wenger risks losing both of his prized assets if he does not welcome a number of big players to the Emirates.

"One thing I am sure of is that Arsene will want to leave while he’s on top, and unless they win the title next season, he can only do that if he earns a new contract," Keown wrote in The Mail. "Because of this I think he’ll be busy in the transfer market this summer, and one thing he needs to decide is whether his squad has the right experience to win the title.

"Coquelin and Elneny have done well, but does he want a more experienced player in the heart of his midfield? Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel are both good defenders, but is the partnership good enough for a title-winning defence? If there’s one thing Arsene has been guilty of over the years it’s overestimating the quality of his players, and I’m not sure he can afford to do that when he is in need of instant results.

"Another reason I think he’ll be active in the transfer market is that it’ll be a lot easier to sign Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to new deals if the team is being supplemented with top talent. Arsenal have stopped bleeding players, but it could happen again if Arsene doesn’t recruit well now."

 

Keown's prediction will excite and worry Arsenal fans in equal measure. On the one hand, Wenger must know that Ozil and Sanchez will not stick around if they do not see ambition from the manager, but the French coach rarely acts to please others so even the thought of losing them may not be enough to make him see the light.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch