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Sports : Sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ben White, build team around ‘quality’ Bukayo Saka and keep Thomas Partey fit

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After a hugely disappointing campaign for Arsenal, the pressure is now firmly on Mikel Arteta to deliver a challenge for the Champions League places next season.

The Gunners finished eighth and without a trophy, having failed to secure European football for the first time in 26 years.

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Arteta could only manage an eighth-placed finish in 2020/21 and the pressure is on him to deliver a top for charge next term

Arteta scooped an FA Cup trophy just eight months after his appointment in December 2019 and that endeared him to the Emirates faithful, but the mood has turned sour following the dire 2020/21 campaign.

Reports have suggested he will be backed financially in the market as Arsenal look to reclaim their place in the Champions League following a four-year absence from the competition.

And with the new season just under two months away, England and Gunners icon David Seaman spoke to talkSPORT.com to establish how Arsenal can get back amongst England’s elite…

Get Aaron Ramsdale as Bernd Leno’s back-up

Leno’s future at Arsenal has been thrown into doubt in recent months, with reports suggesting he may be willing to quit the north London club and return to Germany.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Ramsdale, who was relegated for the Blades, has subsequently emerged as a target for the club.

Seaman believes Leno should be kept at all costs, but insists Arsenal should still attempt to sign Ramsdale as every good club needs two accomplished goalkeepers to keep competition fierce.

Ramsdale had a strong second half to the 2020/21 campaign in a poor Sheffield United side

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Ramsdale had a strong second half to the 2020/21 campaign in a poor Sheffield United side

“I’d be disappointed if Leno leaves,” Seaman began. “I’m asking myself: ‘Why’s he going?’

“He’s been there a long time and been pretty consistent. Do I think Ramsdale would be good? Yeah, he’s a quality goalkeeper – he’s in the England frame – but I’d want both of them there.

“I was very disappointed when [Emi] Martinez went as we need two quality goalkeepers at the club to test each other.

“They let him go and there was no real pressure on him [Leno]. Getting other goalkeepers is good  but if that’s at the price of a top international goalkeeper, I’m not too sure.”

Leno has reportedly been considering his future

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Leno has reportedly been considering his future

Sign Ben White

Arsenal are on the hunt for a new centre-back and Brighton’s White, who is currently on duty with England at Euro 2020, has emerged as Arteta’s prime target.

The 23-year-old impressed at the heart of the Seagulls’ defence throughout the 2020/21 campaign and Liverpool are also believed to be interested in his signature.

Seaman believes White’s addition would be a ‘quality’ signing for the club as he urged his former club to look for gems with potential in the market.

White is currently away with England at Euro 2020

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White is currently away with England at Euro 2020

“People of that quality need to be coming to Arsenal,” the 75-time England international said, explaining top stars in their prime will not be heading to north London.

“I think we’re going down that route of players where they have young, promising with careers ahead of them.

“The days of signing marquee players – that are right on it now – Arsenal will struggle with that as they’re not in Europe.

“The key players don’t just want to play in Europe, they want to play in the Champions League.

“At the moment, Arsenal are nowhere near that and they need to restructure their transfer policy.

“Arsene Wenger used to pick out people and he’d sign them and we’d asked: ‘Who’s that?’

“Then they turned out to be Thierry Henry!”

White made 36 Premier League starts for Brighton last season in his first top-flight season

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White made 36 Premier League starts for Brighton last season in his first top-flight season

Build the team around Saka

The 19-year-old was a shining light in what was a desperately disappointing campaign for Arsenal.

He deservedly won the club’s Player of the Season award and he’s emulating his impressive displays on the international stage with England, having scooped the man-of-the-match award in the 1-0 victory over Czech Republic at Euro 2020.

Seaman was mightily impressed with his display at Wembley – and there are growing calls for Arteta to now build his team around the flourishing teenager.

“His performance was brilliant and to get man-of-the-match shows you that,” Seaman said of the youngster’s display.

Saka began England’s final group game and was the best player on the pitch, which bodes well considering the games to come

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Saka began England’s final group game and was the best player on the pitch, which bodes well considering the games to come

“He’s a player who goes out and plays with no fear. He’s so young and he doesn’t know all the pressures that are going to come later down the line.

“He’s a quality player and he’s showing that.”

Keep Thomas Partey fit

He had a difficult first season in the Premier League and that was mainly due to string of injury setbacks.

Arsenal are yet to see the quality of the Ghana international following his £45m switch from Atletico Madrid last summer – but there’s no denying his talent.

Seaman believes the 28-year-old must be kept fit throughout the campaign to ensure Arsenal have a good season – especially with Granit Xhaka linked with a move to Roma.

Partey had a string of injury setbacks last season and Gunners fans will be hoping he can fire on all cylinders next season

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Partey had a string of injury setbacks last season and Gunners fans will be hoping he can fire on all cylinders next season

“We need Partey to have a season when he’s not getting injured all the time,” Seaman said.

“There’s talk of Xhaka leaving but once the Euros are over, we’ll see a lot of activity.”

Seal Calvert-Lewin transfer to accompany Aubameyang

Everton’s talisman has also been linked with a move to the Gunners and Seaman reckons it would be a huge coup for the club if they could attract him to north London.

“That would be a great signing,” he said. “You want to be attracting those kind of players.

“Whether it happens, we will wait and see. With his proven goal-scoring record, why not?

“There’s other positions we need. We also need a dominant centre-half with David Luiz going.”

Calvert-Lewin scored 16 goals for Everton last season

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Calvert-Lewin scored 16 goals for Everton last season

David Seaman was speaking to talkSPORT in conjunction with William Hill





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