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Arsenal The 3 ‘signings’ Gunners must make to fix defence

Nice’s forward Igniatius Knepe Ganago (L) vies with Saint-Etienne’s French forward William Saliba (R) during the French L1 football match Saint-Etienne vs Nice on May 18, 2019, at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta needs to fix Arsenal’s defence. Here are the three ‘signings’ he and the club must make to solve the team’s defensive woes.

This season, Arsenal have conceded 36 goals in 28 games. That equates to 48.9 goals across a 38-game season, only 2.1 goals worse than last year’s historically poor defensive record. They have also only notched seven clean sheets, which ranks 11th in the league. These are not good numbers, and if Mikel Arteta is to build a team that is capable of challenging for a top-four place, he must fix his defence.

The Spaniard already made major progress in this area, but there is still plenty to do. Here are three ‘signings’ that the club can make to help Arteta’s process in fixing the defence.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Lucas Torreira of Arsenal controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

3. Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira is already an Arsenal player. He was signed for £26 million two summers ago and has looked like an extremely promising midfield option during that period. And yet, for all the positive performances he produced, especially early on in his tenure and in the initial matches under Mikel Arteta, he has not enjoyed a run of starts in his best-suited position: defensive midfield.

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Torreira is unique in the squad. He is the only midfielder with the athleticism and awareness to be effective when defending. He shields the back four superbly, sweeping from side to side, recovering loose balls, and recycling possession. He is more limited in possession, but his defensive impact is invaluable to a team that often lacks protection and security in central midfield.

Providing Torreira with a run of games as the lone defensive midfielder with two creative distributors either side of him would bring balance to the midfield and protection for the defence, something that a previously exposed back four would welcome. Torreira’s consistent presence would feel like a new signing.

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