Shoring up the leaky back line he inherited from predecessor Unai Emery is top of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta’s priorities – implying he may enter the market for defenders this summer
Mikel Arteta is intent on shoring up Arsenal’s defence as he looks to implement a winning culture at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard has been praised for improving the brand of football the Gunners have played since taking over as manager in December last year.
Arteta replaced Unai Emery, who was dismissed with the club eighth in the table and far adrift of the top four.
And despite the improved style of play on show, the Gunners remain eighth in the Premier League and nine points of fourth-place Leicester City.
The progress made under Arteta has no-doubt been hindered by the leakiness of his defence, with current centre-back options including David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi struggling for consistency over the season.
Arteta insists that improving Arsenal’s solidity at the back is at the top of his priorities, implying he may in the market for defenders this summer.
He told Sky Sports : “If you want to be successful and you want to win every three days, you have to be very consistent in all the defensive work that you do.
“The more clean sheets you get, the easier it is to win football matches.”
On a broader note, Arteta is also aiming to instil squad unity and a winning mentality at the Emirates Stadium.
“I am a big believer that a culture that is implemented has a big reflection in what happens on the pitch and the success of a football club,” he added.
“If we are not all on the same page and things start to shift a little bit, we are going to have issues.
“We are trying to set very clear expectations of what we need, how our culture needs to be and live together in a better way.”
Certain players have been omitted from Arteta’s plans of late, with Mesut Ozil not featuring since the restart and Matteo Guendouzi training away from the first-team.
And Arteta explained he must ensure bar is set high at Arsenal, adding: “It’s not about what I want to do, it is what is required at this football club and the standards we have.
“The minimum you need is that you want to be fighting with the top teams in England.”
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