Arsenal legend Martin Keown has hailed the club’s summer transfer window, but told talkSPORT he is ‘still concerned’ about their midfield.
The Gunners, who reportedly only had £40million to spend this summer, finished the window as the Premier League’s biggest spenders according to sporting money experts Deloitte.
Deadline day deals for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney [£25m] and Chelsea centre-back David Luiz [£8m] followed the club-record £72m signing of Nicolas Pepe and arrival of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan.
The incoming players have certainly improved Arsenal’s potential starting XI for their Premier League opener against Newcastle at St James’ park on Sunday.
However, Keown – who has cast his doubts on ‘gamble’ signing Luiz – still has concerns over the strength of the Gunners’ midfield options and back-four ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
The Invincibles defender joined talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday to discuss Arsenal’s summer business, including the sale of Alex Iwobi to Everton for a free which could rise to £40m.
And on that deal, he began: “The price Everton paid is staggering, but it’s good business from Arsenal.
“They needed to generate some cash, so they’ve got that money in to recoup and they spent money on deadline day defensively.
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‘Not a top defender’ – Keown tells talkSPORT about his Arsenal concerns
“Pepe has come in – we got a little taste of him in the Europa League last year when he played against Arsenal and he destroyed Nacho Monreal. It’s maybe why Tierney has come in at full-back, because Monreal was decent until that point.
“Pepe is rapid and if you look at our two front players, they are as good as anything in the Premier League. Aubameyang is really quite a special player. He is the closest thing I’ve seen to Thierry Henry since he left and that’s high praise for him.
“But I’m still concerned about the midfield and the security they give the back-four. Will David Luiz he get the protection he’s going to need?
“That fourth position in the Premier League is vulnerable. You look at Lampard, who is a novice as a manager, and Solskjaer at Manchester United, how are they going to go?
“Arsenal could profit from that and fourth place is very much a target for them.
“I think Arsenal might surprise a few this season… but can they defend?
“Can they keep clean sheets away from home this season? They only managed that once last year against Watford – and they were down to ten men!
“The team with the best balance will win the Premier League title this season. At the moment City and Liverpool are running away with it and it’s based on the way they press and way they work without the ball, and Arsenal need to adopt that.
“If they don’t, they’re going to finish miles away from those two.”
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