Arsenal have been urged to sign a new defensive midfielder and pursue a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema before the end of the summer transfer window. Charlie Nicholas is concerned about his former side at both ends of the pitch despite tipping them to win the Premier League title.
Olivier Giroud netted his first goal of the season in the win at Crystal Palace but reservations remains over the north Londoners' attack, with only Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck in reserve. Furthermore, after Francis Coquelin narrowly escaped a red card at Selhurst Park, the club are being advised to reinforce an area which has been problematic since the departure of Patrick Vieira in 2005.
Coquelin was recalled from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic last season to plug the gap in Arsenal's midfield, jumping ahead of Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini in the pecking order and leading to the release of Abou Diaby following the end of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. However, Nicholas feels that following the close shave in the 2-1 win over Palace that the Frenchman "will be walking a tight-rope" for the rest of the season, such is his lack of discipline.
"Arsenal are strong and I've tipped them to win the Premier League but I would still like to see them sign another holding midfield player," he told Sky Sports. "Francis Coquelin will be walking a tight-rope every week because of the way he plays and he'll pick up suspensions, so another defensive midfielder would be good. Wenger's got Mikel Arteta, who can do a job there, and he's also got a couple of young kids who he wants to fill that role, but I think he'll let Mathieu Flamini go.
The Arsenal favourite added: "Also, if a top, top player comes along like Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, I would take him in a heart-beat. However, I don't think Wenger will go into the market."