Arsenal great Paul Merson feels that his side haven’t yet found a replacement for Gilberto Silva.

Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he doesn’t think that Arsenal have ever replaced Gilberto Silva, who left the club way back in 2008. 

Gilberto used to sit in front of Arsenal’s defence and offered them brilliant protection during his six year stay with the club.

The Brazilian international was a mainstay in Arsene Wenger’s team, during what was Arsenal’s most successful period in recent memory.

Since Gilberto’s departure, Arsenal have lacked a defensive shield in their midfield though, and have often been accused of being too easy to play against.

And Merson cannot understand why Arsenal haven’t looked to add a defensive midfielder to their squad in recent years. 

“For me, a good holding midfielder is priceless,” Merson said. 

“Arsenal haven’t really had a disciplined defensive midfielder since Gilberto Silva. Everyone talks about the club never really replacing Patrick Vieira, and of course, but they never replaced Gilberto either.

“There are players in the current team that are meant to do that job but they don’t have the discipline to do it, and that needs addressing.”

Arsenal currently have the likes of Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi who are capable of sitting in front of their defence, but there are doubts over the trio. 

Arsenal’s current midfielders can be exposed, either through a lack of mobility or due to their positional sense.

Arteta is likely to want to add a midfield enforcer to his squad over the summer, and it will be important that Arsenal pick the right option, as that could be crucial to their chances of success next term. 

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