legend Ray Parlour admits missing out on Chelsea-bound Raphinha represents a major blow to his club’s transfer plans, but insists Mikel Arteta should now focus on strengthening other areas of his team.
from Leeds but failed to agree a fee with the Yorkshire club having seen two bids knocked back.
for a player who is now destined to become the first signing of the Todd Boehly era.
Arsenal are well-stocked for wide forwards, but Parlour believes Raphinha could have added something different to an attack which struggled for goals last season.
He told : ‘That’s a bit of a blow he’s been a brilliant player for Leeds. You know every single Leeds fan will look at it and think we’re desperate to keep him but he’s moved on.
‘That was another player who would have really strengthened the squad because we know they have to play Europa League next year so they’ll have a lot more games than last season so you need that big squad.
‘They are not too bad in the wide areas with Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, Saka but again if they could’ve got he would’ve been a fantastic signing from Arenal’s point of view.’
Rather than scour the market for a like-for-like replacement, Parlour has advised Arteta to look at strengthening his central midfield options and revive interest in Leicester City’s .
He added: ‘I’m looking down the spine of the team and I think that’s where they are trying to strengthen. Tielemans is a really good ball player they’ve got Partey who had his injury problems last season and missed quite a bulk of the games.
‘You got Lokonga who will get better but I think that’s the area. Xhaka is that bit older. That’s the area they really need to look at.
‘When you get the ball back you need that quality to get through the lines to Odegaard and Smith Rowe and Martinelli. Tielemans could be ideal.’
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