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01-Mar-2020, 02:19 am

‘Arsenal board must back Arteta in transfer market’ – Gunners need to spend in the summer, says Keown

Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2019-20

Mikel Arteta needs his board to make money available in the summer, says Martin Keown, with the Gunners requiring fresh faces and a signature from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a new contract.

Another rebuilding project is being undertaken in north London.

Arteta has been placed in charge of that, with the Spaniard inheriting the managerial reins at Emirates Stadium from Unai Emery.

He is considered to have righted some of the wrongs that cost a fellow countryman his job, but Arsenal remain a work in progress.

A top-four finish in the Premier League remains some way off, while a disappointing exit has been suffered at the last-32 stage of the Europa League.

Keown sees the Gunners papering over cracks at present, with it imperative that they bolster their ranks in the next window and get talismanic striker Aubameyang to agree fresh terms.

The former Arsenal defender told Love Sport Radio of the challenges facing Arteta: "I do feel that, you know, I said he was a rookie manager, a rookie manager can win as well.

"It's new for him. I think he will weed through the problems. He's an intelligent man. But it brings it closer doesn't it? I think a disappointment like that [losing to Olympiacos in Europe] doesn't paper over the cracks, he'll be able to work out far sooner what changes need to be made.

"The set-piece situation is really a catastrophe at the moment. The last two games they've conceded four goals from four corners. So you know, it's not rocket science to sort out where the problems are.

"He'll have to go into the transfer market one assumes and I just hope that the board support him because some money is going to have to be spent.

"And we need, of course, to hold on to Aubameyang although he missed that glorious opportunity to be the hero again.

"I think it's hard to come for him. He's been Arsenal's best player for the last two or three years and we need him to get back and hope it doesn't impact too much psychologically on the team because we have an FA Cup game coming up on Monday, and still the chance to make it into the Champions League, although it's an outside chance."

The Gunners are due at Fratton Park on Monday for an FA Cup fifth round clash with Portsmouth.

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