According to Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer, Arsenal made a mistake signing Nicolas Pepe and not Harry Maguire. The former midfield player featured on Sky Sports’ The Debate and spoke of the defensive troubles that continue to plague Unai Emery’s side.
“Defensively they are frail, they concede too many goals. Their centre-halves have been a problem for years,” said Bowyer.
“It’s not just been this season, it’s been for a while now, but they would rather spend £75million on a winger than a centre-back.”
“Maguire would have been perfect for them, why didn’t they get him?”
TIF Tactics – Money spent wisely?
It remains to be seen whether Maguire would have been interested in a move to North London but one thing for sure is that Arsenal’s defence has shown no signs of improvement. The Gunners signed David Luiz and Kieran Tierney this summer for a combined £32m but they’re yet to see any significant return on their investment.
Whilst the Scotland international has been getting back up to speed after an injury he had when he first arrived in north London, the Brazilian has been a mainstay in Emery’s side this season since swapping the blue of Chelsea for the red of the Gunners.
However, when looking at his figures for this season (via WhoScored), there is a suggestion that the 32-year-old has been a little disappointing to say the least. Luiz has managed to achieve an average of just 0.7 tackles per game and 1.4 interceptions, although he has managed to make 4.5 clearances in his ten Premier League outings.
Pepe has scored three goals for Arsenal since his arrival from Lille in the summer. The 24-year-old Ivorian has come in for criticism given the hefty fee the Gunners paid for the winger but in recent weeks there have been signs he’s beginning to settle in.