Football

Ian Wright urges Mikel Arteta to sign a creative midfielder after Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa


Mikel Arteta is lacking a creative force in Arsenal’s midfield, says Ian Wright

Ian Wright believes Mikel Arteta is lacking a creative midfielder in his system following Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday evening.

The Gunners delivered one of their worst displays since Arteta took charge as an own goal from Bukayo Saka, plus a double from Ollie Watkins, sealed a deserved win for Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal, meanwhile, struggled to create many clear-cut chances and have now been unable to score from open play in their last four Premier League games.

And Wright believes the lack of a creative force in midfield is a problem for Arteta.

‘Mikel is going to want the players he wants to come in to implement what he wants but at the same time, the effort and output, from a team that was rested, was nowhere near good enough,’ Wright told BBC’s Match of the Day 2.

‘A Villa team that is coming there and you know they’re going to press you, you need to press your game upon them.

Arsenal were comprehensively beaten by Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)

‘Yes, there is a lacking of a central midfielder who can create and that’s what he needs.

‘But at the same time, you can’t go into a game with that type of attitude and expect to win it.’

Alexandre Lacazette missed an excellent chance in the first half but Wright believes Arsenal are struggling for creativity when the onus is on them to be on the front foot during games.

‘The Lacazette chance, let’s face it, even if they did score that, the way Villa played today, I don’t think it would have made any difference,’ said Wright.

‘Villa had so much time and space on the ball. They were streets ahead of us.

‘It’s as bad of a performance I’ve seen from an Arsenal side when you consider only two of them were playing in the week.

‘I know that Villa came to close down but it was sloppy play. It was poor in every department.

‘For me, they need to break the lines. They were dithering on the ball, it was a million miles away from the performance against Manchester United.

‘You know that Arsenal’s game away from home against United is going to be counter-attacking. When they have the onus and they have to push forward, they don’t create much chances.’

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