Arsenal legend Ian Wright has urged the club to do everything they can to sign Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar before the transfer window slams shut next week.
The Gunners have long been linked with a move for the 22-year-old Frenchman, whose performances in Ligue 1 and the Champions League last season grabbed the attentions of some of the elite European clubs.
Mikel Arteta’s side lost their first game of the season on Monday when they were defeated 3-1 by Liverpool, and speaking after full-time Wright said the result showed their need for a ball-playing midfielder.
“It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you,” he told Premier League Productions.
“You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until Ceballos came on.
“[They need] Someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it round the corner.
“From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment. That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon.
“He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. you saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on. that’s what Arsenal need.”
Lyon are thought to be holding out for a fee of around £55m for Aouar, with Arsenal yet to make a bid of above £32m, and it remains to be seen if the two clubs can come to an agreement before it is too late.
Wright added: “They’re so much more organised now but with the organisation they need the right pieces in there. If they can’t get that player this is what will happen.
“We can beat the likes of Fulham but when it’s that type of calibre of team you’ll see Arsenal struggle.”