Kai Havertz and Thomas Partey IN, Mesut Ozil OUT: How Mikel Arteta can be ruthless and turn Arsenal back into title challengers

Mikel Arteta needs to stamp his authority on his Arsenal team during the summer transfer window to turn the club back into title challengers.

The Gunners have gone 16 seasons without winning the Premier League and the team playing at the Emirates is a shadow of the side that dominated at the turn of the millennium.

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Mikel Arteta will be looking to make changes to his Arsenal squad in the summer
Getty Images

Results have been inconsistent at best this season, even since Arteta has taken charge. Of the 16 games he has managed, they have won eight, drawn six and lost two.

The worst moment came when Arsenal were dumped out of the Europa League to Olympiakos, which exposed weaknesses all over the pitch.

The Gunners dipped into the transfer market last summer when they splashed out on Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Martinelli, David Luiz and William Saliba.

They also made the slightly underwhelming additions of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares during January.

These signings did little to overhaul the fortunes of the club as they face a battle to get European football next season.

Arsenal are ninth in the table and eight points behind Chelsea in fourth place with the league currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Arteta will need to be ruthless if he wants to take the Gunners where they want to be and here are the changes he should make over the summer.

Goalkeeper – no change

Bernd Leno is better than most goalkeepers in the Premier League and it is tough to see who they could feasibly replace him with.

The German has made 104 total saves this season, second most in the league only behind Martin Dubravka.

Defence – Centre-back upgrades

Defence has been a real problem area for the Gunners this season, especially at centre-back.

The current first choice pairing of Shkodran Mustafi or Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz is certainly not up to scratch and splashing out on at least one defender should be a priority.

Arsenal have been linked with RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upemecano but they face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona for the 21-year-old.

The bold move would be to pair him with William Saliba, who is currently out on loan at Saint-Etienne.

Saliba has been impressive in Ligue 1 even though he is still just 19 it could be worth the gamble trying to get them together to forge a strong partnership.

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Dayot Upamecano is wanted by several clubs around Europe
AFP or licensors

Midfield – New defensive midfielder

Mikel Arteta has reportedly identified the defensive midfield area as one of the most pressing needs for the team.

His current options include Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi but is after someone more reliable.

Arsenal should try and sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid, a player they have been linked to for some time.

Partey is reportedly considering signing a contract extension with the LaLiga club but he could be an important piece of the puzzle for Arteta.

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Thomas Partey’s future at Atletico Madrid remains uncertain
Getty Images – Getty

Attack – Ozil replacement

If Arteta was being ruthless he should axe Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.

Lacazette has not been prolific enough through the middle and has been dropped for Eddie Nketiah in the last few weeks.

When Ozil turns up for games he can be excellent but the problem is you just never know which version you will be getting.

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Kai Havertz is one of the brightest young talents in world football
Getty Images – Getty

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been playing on the left and still scoring goals for fun so the priority should be for Arsenal to extend his contract as it is currently due to expire in 2021.

The perfect player to replace Ozil with would be Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz.

The attacking midfielder has everything in his game and would be a more than ready replacement.

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How Arsenal could line-up if Mikel Arteta makes ruthless changes
Buildlineup.com

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