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Arsenal need to be looking at bringing in “a top midfield player” in the next transfer window, says Martin Keown, with Mikel Arteta already being linked with a move for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey.
Recruitment plans are being drawn up at Emirates Stadium, with there an acceptance that further reinforcement is required.
That is because the top-four and Champions League qualification is to remain out of reach once again in 2019-20.
Former club captain Arteta has been returned to familiar surroundings in a bid to get a fallen giant back on its feet, with consistency still proving to be a problem at present.
Defensive leaks are doing little to aid that cause, with calls for money to be spent in that area continuing to mount in intensity.
Keown has spoken of the need to find a reliable option at centre-half on a regular basis, with questions often being asked of David Luiz, Shkordan Mustafi and Co.
The former Arsenal defender is, however, also of the opinion that a leader needs to be found in the middle of the park, amid questions of Matteo Guendouzi’s future, with the Gunners having lacked a talismanic figure in that department since the days of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.
"Well, there are many things to improve and it is really about getting that DNA back into the players, that toughness, that will to win, raising the bar really," Keown told BT Sport.
"Defensively we know there are a lot of problems, Arsenal are carrying five or six central defenders, which one of them is good enough?
"Who's going to be the partnership? Today it's a three, often it's a four that they play there.
"And the middle of the park, I don't think we've really had a top midfield player so to speak, that can control things for us, since the Vieira days, Gilberto Silva days.
"So let's try and get a top midfield player into that position. I'm assuming that is what the club is working towards doing."
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a bid to prise Ghana international Partey away from Atletico Madrid.