Arsenal legend Ray Parlour believes the club may need to strengthen the defensive department further before the transfer deadline. Unai Emery’s side have shown a keen emphasis to bolster the backline with the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos joining the club but Parlour feels the club should bolster the ranks further.
“I think Sokratis is a good signing and he will be a no-nonsense, traditional defender in the mould of Tony Adams rather than someone who wants to play out from the back. I think Arsenal still need to improve their defence, though, even after signing Sokratis and Lichtsteiner. The club needs an old school leader who will put their body on the line and demand the best from his team-mates. Chiellini would be the dream defender, though he’s getting on a bit.”
Chiellini has been the standout performer in the Juventus defence over the years and despite being at the wrong end of 33, he has recently been rewarded with a new two-year contract. As such, the Gunners have relatively no chance of tempting the Italian to join the club but they can benefit from the experience of one of his former teammates in Lichtsteiner.
The 34-year-old was the Gunners’ first summer signing of the post-Arsene Wenger era and Parlour believes the Swiss could prove the ideal mentor for Hector Bellerin, who should remain the club’s first-choice right-back for next season. Bellerin has impressed in stages for Arsenal in recent seasons but he has yet to get his act together for an entire campaign.