Former Arsenal forward and pundit Charlie Nicholas has said the Gunners must sign Raphael Varane or Virgil van Dijk for the defence and Alexandre Lacazette for the attack.

  • Nicholas says Arsenal must strengthen the spine of the team with key signings
  • He names Raphael Varane, Virgil van Dijk and Alexandre Lacazette as targets

Nicholas believes that Arsenal have to sign these players if they are to challenge for the Premier League title next season.

“Wenger needs to unload six or seven of the weaker players and, rather than signing more squad players, he must bring in another world-class defender, a top midfielder and a 20+ goal striker,” he said.

“He needs another top midfield player with Santi Cazorla out. Raphael Varane or Virgil van Dijk would be ideal at centre-back and Alexandre Lacazette is the striker I wanted and hopefully the Atletico Madrid transfer ban means we’ve got a chance.”

While Raphael Varane seems extremely unlikely, Arsenal chances of signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton gained a bit of a boost after Liverpool formally pulled out of a deal yesterday. Southampton had reported Liverpool for misconduct over the transfer and remain adamant that the Dutchman is not for sale.

Alexandre Lacazette was ready to join La Liga side Atletico Madrid, but the move has yet to materialise due to Atletico’s transfer ban being upheld.

Nicholas didn’t identify which “top midfielder” Arsenal needed to bring in to replace Santi Cazorla. Arsenal have been linked with Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri recently, as well as Barcelona’s Arda Turan.