Charlie Nicholas identifies where Arsenal need immediate summer signings




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Charlie Nicholas has urged Arsenal to “immediately” sign to new centre-halves in the summer transfer window.

The Gunners have been linked with a host of players in the summer transfer window but Arsenal haven’t reached any deals so far.

The north London side have a limited transfer budget so Arsenal manager Unai Emery is thought to be working under financial constraints.

Arsenal conceded 51 times in 38 games in the Premier League last season to underline their defensive problems.

The Gunners were without 33-year-old France international Laurent Koscielny for part of the season.

England defender Rob Holding suffered a season-ending knee injury in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in December.

And Shkodran Mustafi has struggled to justify his £35m transfer fee since his move to Arsenal in 2016.

Now, former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas wants to see the Gunners address their weakness at the back this summer.

“[Arsenal need to sign] two centre-backs, immediately,” Nicholas told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast.

‘Immediately two centre-backs. They need a bit of pace, they’ve never really had the pace.

“The guy who had pace was (Laurent) Koscielny, but he kind of lost his pace two, three seasons ago under Arsene Wenger.

“It was through the injuries, it wasn’t the lad’s fault, but it was the reality of the injuries has caught up with him.

“Then after that we had to go round about the houses to accept that (Shkodran) Mustafi didn’t fit in. Sokratis, in my opinion, is a strong defender, but he plays solo.”

Nicholas added: “And Arsenal under Unai Emery have to be a unit, they have to get the defensive structure right.

“(Nacho) Monreal has actually done okay for Arsenal considering what his limitations were.

“He was a left-back, he was never a centre-back but he had to play there.

“That always told me the reality was that Arsenal’s big, big problems is centre-backs and they need two centre-backs in my opinion.

“A left-back like (Kieran) Tierney would be absolutely welcome, (Hector) Bellerin is probably still a bit away from fitness, we don’t have enough cover in there.”

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table to miss out on a Champions League spot.

The Gunners lost 4-1 to bitter rivals Chelsea FC in the Europa League final in Baku last month.

The north London side have failed to finish in the Premier League’s top four in the last three seasons.

Arsenal appointed Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement in May 2018 after the Gunners finished in sixth place.

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