Former footballer Kevin Campbell has criticized Arsenal for their business in the winter transfer window.
The Gunners let go of the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang without signing adequate replacements. Aubameyang’s deadline day departure to Barcelona has particularly caused doubt among fans’ minds about Mikel Arteta’s plans for the rest of the season.
Arsenal now have only Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, both of whom will be free agents in the summer, to depend on going forward. Neither player has been consistent for the Gunners this season.
Campbell, too, pointed out that while speaking to Sky Sports, when he said:
“If I’m honest with you I think Lacazette and Nketiah is not strong enough for me, Lacazette’s obviously very experienced, very good player, Nketiah for me is not the answer, he’s going to be leaving in the summer as well.”
Censoring Arsenal’s approach, he further said:
“I think Arsenal should have done business, I know they’ve been linked with Vlahovic and Isak and a whole host of strikers but they’ve brought nobody in. I think they’re playing a bit of Russian Roulette, there’s still holes in that team, even more holes that they have thinned the squad tremendously. “
Campbell went on to add that Aubameyang, despite a sour departure after falling out with Arteta over disciplinary issues, is a player the Gunners need right now. The 51-year-old said:
“Well, I think it all came down to whether Aubameyang actually stayed at the club or not because if Aubameyang had stayed, he still would have been an asset, he still would have been the best striker at the football club.”
“But obviously things have broken down to a point where they felt they had to get him out of the club, there were 2-3 takers, he always dreamed of playing in Spain and Barcelona have obliged, and Arsenal got the deal done and they move on. “
Failure to secure a top-four finish could cause problems for Arteta at Arsenal
As things stand, Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League standings with 36 points from 21 matches. They are two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with a game in hand and are still in the race for a top-four finish.
However, the Gunners’ recent form is bound to worry both fans and Arteta. They have scored just one goal in all of January in a 2-1 loss to Manchester City. The London-based outfit have not found the back of the net in their last four matches, resulting in exits from both the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.
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While Aubameyang himself has not had a good season, he could’ve still been an option coming off the bench given his overall goalscoring record. But he is now gone and it remains to be seen what contingencies Arteta has in place for the rest of the campaign.