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Former Arsenal star urges Arteta to strengthen in midfield

Arsenal’s dismal 3-0 home defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday effectively ended their flickering hopes of winning the Premier League title.

The Gunners have seen an eight-point lead evaporate in recent weeks as reigning champions Manchester City have relentlessly hunted them down.

The team’s performances on the run-in have highlighted that the squad lacks the quality to sustain a title challenge over 38 games.

Central midfield is undoubtedly one of the primary areas of concern, with their current options unable to maintain the levels they reached earlier in the season.

Improvements will need to be made this summer – something that was pointed out by former midfielder Gilberto Silva in a recent interview with Betway.

When asked about links with Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo, the Brazilian said the club should break the bank to secure their services.

“Both players have been great this season,” Silva said. “Caicedo was linked to us in the last transfer window, and it didn’t happen. Let’s see.

“What is quite tough nowadays for most clubs in the Premier League is that the price of transfers has become something crazy.

“That’s how it is at the moment in football, especially in the Premier League, and great players have their value.

“I think these are the types of players that can come in and make a difference, which is why they’re so expensive.”

Having defied the pre-season online betting odds to keep Arsenal in title contention for much of the season, manager Mikel Arteta will ultimately be able to reflect on what has been a largely positive campaign.

The Gunners will finish the season comfortably in second place, a long way clear of Newcastle United, Manchester United and the rest of the chasing pack.

Arteta’s efforts have inevitably drawn comparisons with former manager Arsene Wenger, who took a little time to get Arsenal heading the right way before winning silverware.

The current manager already has an FA Cup success on his CV, but ending the club’s long wait for a Premier League title is the number one aim.

Arteta will have to contend with increased expectations next season, with the club’s fans desperate to see the team regularly winning silverware again.

Having blown a reasonable opportunity this time around, it is imperative that the board back Arteta to fill the gaps in their squad this summer.

Silva believes the Spaniard has the ability to emulate Wenger over the next few years if the club give him the tools to compete.

“Arteta’s doing great,” Silva added. “He knows Arsene – he played under him and understands how he works. I hope that he can achieve great things at the club.

“He has done well so far – I think everybody has to support him regardless of what happens at the end of the season.

“Everybody has to support him for what him and the squad has done this season. I wish him the best, and I’m sure he is going to be one of the greatest managers in the Premier League.”

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