Former Arsenal midfield maestro Ray Parlour believes the Gunners should do everything possible to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer.
LondonWorld understands Arsenal are favourites to land the highly-rated England star, with the likes of Moises Caicedo, Ilkay Gundogan and Mason Mount among the club’s midfield targets.
However, it is Rice who is manager Mikel Arteta’s priority target in the summer transfer window and there is belief within London Colney that a deal can be done for a fee in the region of £90million.
“The midfield is definitely the place that Arsenal need another player this summer, especially if Granit Xhaka is leaving,” Parlour told NetBet Casino. “Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo, and Ilkay Gundogan are all top players and would all be brilliant signings for Arsenal.”
“But I think Declan Rice is the one that everybody really wants to come into that midfield area for Arsenal. He’d have a lot more of a different role for Arsenal than he currently does at West Ham; he’ll be able to get forward more and show more of his ability in that area of the pitch, so he’s someone I’d really love to see Arsenal sign.”
In addition to addressing the midfield, Parlour emphasised the need for Arsenal to enhance their attacking options. Despite Ivan Toney’s recent eight-month ban, he believes the Brentford striker possesses the qualities required to thrive at a top six side.
Parlour praised Toney’s work rate and goal-scoring instincts, expressing his desire to see the Gunners make a concerted effort to secure his services.
“I also think a new centre-forward is vital for Arsenal next season, I really do,” Parlour said. “A player who I’ve always said would do well at Arsenal is Ivan Toney. Whether Arsenal can get him given his ban is another matter, but I would be trying really hard to see if there was any chance of a deal there [whether that means joining in January]. He’s really impressed me for Brentford – his work rate and he’s always in the right place to nick a goal.
“Bringing in Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan would also be perfect, he’s the sort of striker Arsenal need to sign. I know Gabriel Jesus has been excellent this season, he had that long spell out injured, but he needs to score a few more goals for Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah has done well when he’s been asked, but you need that competition up front for places.
“We played with four top strikers in the Invincibles team – Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Kanu and Sylvain Wiltord. We even had Francis Jeffers a little before that, so we had five strikers! So Arsenal definitely need another striker. Any player in the mould of Lautaro Martinez, if he’s interested in coming to Arsenal, then Edu will be working to do the best deal for the club.”