Arsenal told to replace fan favourite as William Gallas names his ‘urgent’ transfer window priority

Arsenal told to replace fan favourite as William Gallas names his ‘urgent’ transfer window priority

Former Arsenal player William Gallas has urged the club to focus on signing new defenders as an “urgent” priority.

Mikel Arteta is expected to reinforce his midfield with rumoured early summer moves for Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.

Yet Gallas believes replacing Ben White at right-back is a more pressing matter for Arsenal, despite the ex-Brighton man receiving rave reviews for his performances this season.

“I think Arsenal need to recruit a lot of players,” he told Genting Casino. “They need a left-back, a right-back.

“Ben White is not a right-back – I think we’ve seen that in the difficult games. When Arsenal have played better opponents, he has struggled to have an impact in the offensive part of the game.

“I think that is because he is a centre-back that is being played out of position. I think Arsenal need to sign an experienced centre-back. I’ve said this many times: Arsenal needed to sign one experienced centre-back just in case one of Gabriel or [William] Saliba got injured, which unfortunately happened.

“I think Arsenal need to add a different type of striker too.”

West Ham midfielder Rice is set to be targeted by Arsenal when the Hammers’ season ends next month.

Gallas, who spent four years in north London, expects such a move would see Thomas Partey or another player in that position sold. Granit Xhaka is in talks over a move to Bayer Leverkusen.

“He is a very good player that I think will reach another level if he joins a top club and that is why I think he will leave West Ham this summer,” he continued.

“Arsenal will need to sell a midfielder because they can’t have that many at the club and also sign Rice. I know that there will be a lot of additional games with the Champions League, but they will need to sell one of them.

“Arsenal will want to make a statement signing. Okay, Rice is on the market, but I think their more urgent need is to sign top class defenders.”