Gary Neville insists Arsenal are “missing” a striker who can “sniff” and “smell” chances to give them a better chance of winning titles and trophies.
The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw on Sunday by arch-rivals Tottenham in the north London derby with both Arsenal and Spurs slipping four points behind leaders Manchester City.
Son Heung-min hit back twice for Tottenham either side of a Sergio Romero own goal and a Bukayo Saka penalty with Arsenal failing to hold onto their leads.
Gabriel Jesus has been operating as the Gunners main striker with Eddie Nketiah providing back-up if the Brazilian gets injured or suspended.
But so far this season they only have three goals between them and Neville reckons Arsenal could do with going into the market for an out-and-out goal poacher.
“You’ve got to have a couple of players in your team, at least one, who have that smell of where the ball is going to land,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
“Not a poacher, the days of poachers are gone that just play off another striker and two up top. We’re not in that moment anymore.
“When you think of the forward lines we’ve seen at Barcelona with David Villa, Pedro and Lionel Messi all those years ago – none of them are real strikers as in goal-sniffers. Sergio Aguero was, but we’re not even talking about that, we’re talking about someone who knows where to be.
“What I didn’t used to like as a defender, but also listening to Sir Alex Ferguson, the coaches and the England coaches over the years, it always had to be that strikers had to make runs across the defender.
“That if it’s on the other side of the pitch and it’s getting crossed to the back post, you make that run into the back post.
“On a corner, on that second ball when it’s getting flicked on, you’ve got to get in at the back post. At the end it just hit me, because I think of Ian Wright starting in and around the six-yard box because I used to mark Ian Wright at corners and he was a nightmare.
“He would always peel around to the back post to make sure if the ball gets glanced on, which it does, that you’re there and he wasn’t there. He was hanging out and didn’t make that run.
“And Gabriel Jesus, when he robbed James Maddison, these are big moments in the game and big things. You’ve got to be on the move and be sniffing, smelling, anticipating, and Arsenal haven’t got that.
“I really like this Arsenal team and they could go on to win a title or finish second, have a great season and win trophies without that type of player, but it became obvious in this game that it was missing. Alan Smith pointed it out on commentary too and he knows far more than I do.”