Ex-Arsenal man claims Arteta ‘needs to ship out half the team’

Will Ford
Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Mikel Arteta needs to sell half of his team this summer with Arsenal needing a complete rebuild, according to former midfielder David Bentley.

The Gunners have followed up defeats to Manchester City and Brighton with victories over Southampton and Sheffield United, with a last-gasp Dani Ceballos strike sending Arsenal into the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

Arsenal sit tenth in the Premier League table and look set to miss out on European football next season, although qualification for the Europa League is still very much on the cards.

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Bentley said: “I don’t know what the thinking is at boardroom level because Arsenal need to ship out half the team and get a good core in. That’s difficult but can be done. The major problem is that we don’t know if they’re singing from the same hymn sheet at boardroom level.”

On the decision to reward David Luiz with a new contract, Bentley added: “I don’t know if it’s because of a lack of preparation in getting players in but the recruitment with the back four is a problem. It always has been. David Luiz is problematic.

“He’s a great technical player but if you want to bring the youth through and create a winning mentality is he really the type to help with that? I was surprised at the new contract.

“I don’t know why they didn’t look to bring in Gary Cahill or someone like that, over David Luiz. Maybe Luiz is more fashionable. Cahill has the core ability and has been there and done it. He would have been more of a fit for Arsenal.

“You look at Liverpool – and Manchester United are trying to do it – and they build a solid foundation that allows the players to express themselves. If you have solid back-four and solid spine of the team it’s easier for the young players to step into that. Instead Arsenal leak goals and look vulnerable.”