This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Arsenal have conceded 15 Premier League goals this season, with Chelsea being the only team in the top 10 with a leakier defence at this stage.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are the only team outside of the current top four to have outscored them in the league so far.
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However, Lee Bowyer stated that he feels the money should have been used on Harry Maguire, who eventually joined Manchester United for £80m.
Speaking on The Debate, via The Boot Room, the former Premier League midfielder stated: “Their centre-halves have been a problem for years, I think that’s where they need to strengthen. But it’s not just been this season, it’s been for a while now, and everybody’s known it.
“But for some reason, they’d rather go and spend £75 million on a winger instead of bringing in a top centre-half. Harry Maguire, I think he would have been perfect for them so why didn’t they go and get him? That’s what they need. A solid leader.”
Maguire has been fairly effective for United this season, but he has not fixed the club’s problems, as Bowyer suggested the 26-year-old could do at the Emirates.
It can even be debated which of the two clubs have the deeper rooted problems, but Arsenal sit five places above the Red Devils, even if they have conceded four more goals.
Throughout the current campaign, Maguire has averaged 0.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 4.1 clearances and 0.5 blocks per Premier League game, as per WhoScored.
While this is fairly impressive, when put alongside the fact he has only been dribbled past 0.2 times per game on average, this doesn’t indicate that the England international could single-handedly solve Arsenal’s defensive problems, even if it is pretty certain that he could help.
In addition, Pepe can still go on to have a huge impact on the Gunners and should not be written off merely because he’s struggled to hit the ground running since his massive summer move.