Martin Keown tells Arsenal to replace Eddie Nketiah and Granit Xhaka

Xhaka granite

Granit Xhaka has divided Arsenal fans since he joined the club in 2016 (Image: Getty)

Martin Keown pushed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta signs replacements for Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah.

The Gunners are likely to miss the top four this season after falling two points behind their north London rivals in fourth place after back-to-back defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United.

Arteta has suggested even if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League on the final day of the Premier League, fifth place would still represent progress for his young side.

However, former Arsenal defender Keown believes Arteta needs to look for quality players this summer to take his old club to the next level.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “As a defender I was talking about Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka the other day, these guys give you the belief that you can win games.

“We (defenders) throw balls in front of us to block things because eventually they (strikers) will get the chance to win the game for us. (Eddie) Nketiah did a great job, but we know he’s a second-string forward, not an A-liner.

Eddie Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah has hit a purple stain since breaking into Arsenal’s first-team this season (Picture: Getty)

“In the middle, the association must be strengthened, I think with (Granit) Xhaka it’s time for a change, I’m not saying to get rid of him completely. I just have the feeling that if he comes and contributes in midfield, then he has to get better and develop further.

“(Thomas) Partey was injured for much of the season and (Albert Sambi) Lokonga wasn’t considered good enough. Mohamed Elneny, is he the answer? So the midfield, the engine room, is a key area that needs improvement.’

Arsenal have been looking for a new striker since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Barcelona in January.

Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette could leave this summer as their contracts expire, compounding the club’s need for a centre-forward.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus but the signing could be marred by their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Arsenal have also struggled this season with midfielder Thomas Partey’s injuries and have reportedly called in transfers for Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.

However, the north Londoners are expected to pay a sizeable fee for both stars as their clubs are reluctant to lose such key players in their side.

Earlier this year, Arteta revealed he was hoping to add significantly to his thin squad ahead of a return to Europe in the next term.

MORE: Ian Wright agrees with Mikel Arteta and offers verdict on Arsenal’s season

MORE: Gabriel Jesus ‘priority’ emerges as agent flies in for new Arsenal talks

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Arsenal FC Martin Keown tells Arsenal to replace Eddie Nketiah and Granit Xhaka

Nate Jones

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