Former Liverpool midfielder and current Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has been extremely critical of Mikel Arteta’s performance big matches.
The Spaniard is currently out with yet another long-term injury in a stop start season. He has featured in only seven league matches and it has raised concerns about his future. Since he is out of contract at the end of the season, the former Everton man has been linked with a return to Spanish football with Real Sociedad reportedly interested in his services. Real Sociedad are now managed by David Moyes, who took him from the Spanish club to Everton several years ago.
Redknapp feels that Arteta maybe extremely effective as a defensive midfielder against the lesser teams, but he is exposed frequently when Arsenal are playing against top teams. His comments come in the wake of more spotlight on Arsenal’s performance against the top teams. The gunners suffered yet another defeat against Manchester United despite dominating for most of the 90 minutes. United grabbed a 2-1 victory with both of their goals coming from counter-attacks. Redknapp believes that the lack of defensive awareness of Arteta, who is predominantly an attacking midfielder, is one of the reasons for such goals being conceded by the gunners.
“Mikel Arteta, he’s a nice player, a lovely footballer – when he’s playing against lesser sides with time on the ball. But any time he plays against a real quick side with pace and power he gets found out. Now Wenger must identify that,” said Redknapp. Arsenal are widely expected to sign a world-class defensive midfielder in the summer. They have been focusing more on attacking reinforcements over the last few transfer windows. After this latest high-profile defeat, Arsenal have slipped further behind the top four. It has been a decade since the club last won the title.