Jamie Redknapp says he “feels sorry” for Arsenal’s fanbase following the Gunners’ 1-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.
Arsenal were edged out by their London rivals, with a well-taken effort by youngster Declan Rice enough to take all three points.
Unai Emery’s side are now six points off the top four, leading to suggestions that new signings need to be made during the January transfer window.
Arsenal’s transfer dealings under Unai Emery: Five key things to know…
- Arsenal have a diminished transfer budget to play with this month.
- Emery was handed over £70 million in the summer.
- Lucas Torreira arrived from Sampdoria for £27m in the summer.
- Goalkeeper Bernd Leno, centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos and midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi also arrived in the summer for a combined £44.1m.
- Emery says he cannot bring in any permanent signings during the January transfer window.
Arsenal enjoyed a decent run of form before Christmas but struggled over the festive period and their misfortune has carried into 2019.
The Gunners have only won one of their last four games in the Premier League and Redknapp feels their squad is not good enough to challenge for a top-four finish this season, and fears the investment needed to improve Emery’s squad will not be forthcoming.
“You can play whatever system you want but I’m not sure this Arsenal squad is good enough to get anywhere near the top four right now,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“I feel sorry for the fans. The manager said they are only going to get loans in, but other clubs at the top are always trying to progress. Arsenal is a huge club and the fans deserve better.”
Redknapp added that he’s not surprised by Arsenal’s poor form as he feels Gunners boss Emery was left with a poor squad by Arsene Wenger.
He added: “With the players he’s got, Emery is going to need time and windows to bring players in. He was not left with a great squad.
“I’m not surprised they are struggling away from home because you need good players as well as being organised, and players that can do something different. At the moment the system just doesn’t seem to work.”
Arsenal intent on bringing in Denis Suárez
Emery will not be able to make permanent signings in January, which may hamper his wish to reunite with playmaker Denis Suarez, who is believed to be willing to leave the Camp Nou.
A deal is reportedly being discussed that could see the Spaniard arrive at the Emirates on loan with a view to completing a permanent move in the summer.
The Gunners already have one of the best playmakers in the world; none other than the Premier League’s ‘assist king’ Mesut Ozil, who was again left out for the game against West Ham.
A rift has appeared to have opened up between the German and Emery, with reports by the Independent suggesting a January transfer is on the cards as the club are open to offers.
Offloading Ozil would bring in at least £30m and knock a substantial figure off the club’s wage bill, which could give Emery an opportunity to reinvest the funds elsewhere.
RATINGS: Every player marked out of 10 from West Ham 1-0 Arsenal – https://t.co/kev4nGdWor
Best = 9/10 🔨
Worst = 4/10 🔴
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 12, 2019
Ozil is still available to play as things stand and Arsenal legend Ian Wright can’t believe that he continues to be left out. “For Ozil not to be in the 18, whatever’s going on with them, I can’t get my head round that,” Wright said on BBC’s Match of the Day.
“That’s simply because he should be given the opportunity to play himself into form or get him on and he will play himself out on form. Then we will find out exactly what’s happening with Mesut Ozil.
“We cannot afford to have arguably the highest paid player in Arsenal’s history not even in the 18.”