Arsenal transfer demand made by Rio Ferdinand as Man Utd icon feels sorry for Mikel Arteta

Arsenal: Is the pressure growing on Arteta?

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Rio Ferdinand has taken aim at Arsenal’s underperforming stars, accusing Mikel Arteta’s side of having a lack of character. The Gunners were dismantled by Liverpool on Saturday, with their 3-0 defeat their 12th of the Premier League season.

Arteta admitted he was in a state of shock following the defeat and Manchester United legend Ferdinand believes his experienced players are letting him down.

“They’re reliant on young, homegrown players,” he told Bt Sport. Their best players this season are the ones that have come through the system.

“That is great on the one hand, but when you’ve had investment in other areas of the team with experience, you want those players to come to the fore as well.

“They’ve been let down by those experienced and seasoned players this season.”

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Ferdinand suggested he had some sympathy for the underfire Arsenal boss, who has been forced to promote players from the academy.

He continued. “I feel sorry for Arteta – you bring these young kids in, which the fans all want as they can identify with the young players as they feel that’s them coming into the first-team as well.

“But you need to be able rely and call upon the experienced players to usher those players through with you.

“We didn’t get into the first-team and were able to produce without the help of our senior players, we know how important it is.

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“They need that support and need other people to look at when the chips are down a little bit, look at that senior player who says ‘come on, follow me, this is how you get through it.

“I’ve been there and done it, just sit behind me and let’s go’

“The young players have been the ones that have been pushing from the front all season, that hasn’t helped Arsenal or Mikel Arteta in this period.”

Arteta has revealed that plans are already in place ahead of the summer window, with his side ‘very far’ away from what he sees as the finished article.

January saw a number of players leave the Emirates, including the high-profile exits of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi.

And in order to continue their progression under the Spaniard, Ferdinand believes he must sign players who can become leaders in the dressing room.

“I think in the recruitment process going forward with Arsenal, their teams of the past were built on big characters,” he explained.

“Leaders like Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

“They’re not only great players, they’re big characters. I don’t see that enough in that dressing room right now. Recruitment, that’s where I’d be looking.”


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