Arsenal

Gary Neville says £30m man has become more irreplaceable than Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka at Arsenal

Gary Neville has now claimed that one Arsenal player has actually become harder to replace than both Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka.

Despite the disappointment suffered at the Emirates on Sunday, Mikel Arteta and his squad can still be immensely proud of their displays this season.
It’s remarkable to think that a side who performed so well and so consistently in so many categories, failed to lift any silverware.

The Premier League title was clearly the priority for the Gunners, who may feel a bit of pressure to simply deliver any trophy next season.
No one can debate the merits of the job Arteta is doing, but this Arsenal team won’t enjoy being remembered as a ‘nearly’ side, akin to their north London neighbours.

That being said, the inquest of their season has now begun, and both pundits and fans have been sharing their opinions on who Edu Gaspar should be trying to sign right now.

Gary Neville has too now waned in on that chat, delivering his verdict on the ‘Stick to Football’ podcast.
Gary Neville says Martin Odegaard has simply become irreplaceable for Mikel Arteta

Neville shared his opinion that Arsenal should continue to prioritise their excellent defensive structure by adding a combative number six.

And when speaking about players Arsenal couldn’t afford to lose, the pundit admitted that losing Martin Odegaard to injury was actually the biggest risk at the club right now.
He explained: “I would double-down on the defensive structure that they’ve had this year and the defensive record.
I’d go holding midfield player to free Rice completely and the others because just keeping the defensive structure they’ve got will give them a great chance of winning the league.

“The goals I think will come for Arsenal, they’ve got good football players, Odegaard is probably actually the biggest risk in terms of you can’t replace him – there’s no one like him.

“He’s the one player that I think in the squad to me that looks like, I mean I named him player of the year, I thought he was the best player I’ve seen this season.”

Fabio Vieira has failed to live up to expectations

Of course, Arsenal fans would probably point to either Fabio Vieira or Emile Smith Rowe as the most obvious alternatives, but both do represent a downgrade in different regards.
Vieira is meant to have the same creative prowess as his £30m-captain, but can’t deliver the same level of pressing.

And at this moment in time, it sadly feels as if Smith Rowe’s role is yet to be honed after a year or so disrupted by injury.

Arsenal fans will hope that’s something that can change next season, especially if Smith Rowe can take advantage of any opportunities in pre-season.

All that being said, Jamie Carragher has just highlighted two areas Arsenal desperately need to improve this summer.

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