Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown expects Arsene Wenger to be "busy in the transfer market this summer". The 49-year-old pundit thinks his former manager will want to end his trophy-laden career on a high and believes he will spend heavily over the summer in a bid to restore Arsenal to the top of English football.
Wenger has been criticised in some quarters for his thriftiness in the transfer market, with supporters citing his unwillingness to sign a top-class defensive midfielder and a striker as being their biggest problem. But Keown believes that with Wenger coming towards the end of his career, he will be more willing to spend lavishly.
"One thing I am sure of is that Arsene will want to leave while he's on top, and unless they win the title next season, he can only do that if he earns a new contract," the ex-Arsenal star told the Daily Mail. "Because of this I think he'll be busy in the transfer market this summer, and one thing he needs to decide is whether his squad has the right experience to win the title."
In particular, Keown highlighted problems in Arsenal's central midfield and defence, questioning if the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel boast Premier League-winning quality. "Coquelin and Elneny have done well, but does he want a more experienced player in the heart of his midfield?" the former Arsenal defender asked. "Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel are both good defenders, but is the partnership good enough for a title-winning defence?
"If there's one thing Arsene has been guilty of over the years it's overestimating the quality of his players, and I'm not sure he can afford to do that when he is in need of instant results."
Meanwhile, Keown suggested it would be easier to keep hold of star players, such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, if they were able to attract some quality signings this summer. "Another reason I think he'll be active in the transfer market is that it'll be a lot easier to sign Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to new deals if the team is being supplemented with top talent," Keown reflected. "Arsenal have stopped bleeding players, but it could happen again if Arsene doesn't recruit well now."