Liverpool legend John Barnes says he ‘wouldn’t be worried about Houssem Aouar’ if he were in charge of Arsenal and admits Thomas Partey could be the solution to their defensive issues.
Mikel Arteta is on the hunt for a midfielder to bolster his options in the centre of the park, with Aouar and Partey the two players most strongly linked.
The French club’s president, Jean-Michel Aulas, admitted earlier this week that the Gunners were struggling to get near their £46 million valuation of the 22-year-old playmaker
Meanwhile, Partey has been a long-term target for Arsenal, and despite the midfielder reportedly being keen on a switch to the Emirates Stadium, Atletico Madrid are insistent his £45m release clause must be paid out in full, which the Gunners have so far been unable to do.
Barnes believes Arsenal’s should prioritise strengthening their defence ahead of their attack, and suggests the combative Partey could be the answer to their problems.
‘Arsenal need more defenders and ones with quality. It’s not in attack where they need to strengthen, their attackers are good. Once you get at the Arsenal back four you can really cause them problems and that has been their problem for a while.
‘That’s the difference, working as a cohesive team unit with and without the ball. Lots of the big teams need quality defensive players and not just exciting attacking talent.
‘They’re linked with Thomas Partey who is a good defensive midfield player with a lot of attributed that could really help Arsenal he could be the solution they need to stop conceding so many goals, especially away from home.’