Thierry Henry says that Arsenal need to sign at least one defender befoe the transfer window closes, and believes that if the club can’t find the right striker to bring in, a change of system in which Alexis Sanchez plays off Olivier Giroud could be a good solution.
Speaking on Sky Sports, where he’ll pundit full-time this season, the club’s record goalscorer suggested doubts over the two young Englishmen Rob Holding and Calum Chambers, on top of injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel and the late return of Laurent Koscielny must spark Arsene Wenger in transfer market action.
“I still think we needed a defender, so now though we need even maybe two,” he said. “You don’t know how Holding is going to turn out to be.
“Chambers, he might be the one. Who knows? Koscielny obviously coming back from the Euros might not be available, but they’re trying to get Jamie Vardy!
“But he turned it down, for whatever reason, I respect that, he wanted to stay at Leicester but as an Arsenal fan I’m like ‘He turned Arsenal down?!’ I’m like ‘What? What? Really?!’, anyway, I respect the man, but nevermind.”
He went off on a bit of a tangent there about Vardy, but suggested that Alexis playing off Giroud like Antoine Griezmann did for France at the European Championships might be something for the Arsenal manager to try.
“I just think that if you cannot get a striker – when I see what Alexis Sanchez has been doing for Chile and what he’s done for Arsenal for a very long time, and I saw what Olivier Giroud did at the Euros playing with a 9 behind him, not a 10, a 9. Someone who can run beyond him.
“He’s good enough to flick the ball, he’s good enough to keep the ball, he’s good enough to see a pass, he’s very intelligent in the way he plays,” he said.
“I think that might be a partnership. If you can’t bring a striker, maybe Sanchez can play in a freer role with Giroud.
“It can be a solution if you cannot bring a striker.”
Of course it remains to be seen what happens, but having spoken so clearly about the need for an offensive addition, it would be a surprise if one didn’t arrive. It’s still an interesting though, requiring a change of system from Wenger.
Alexis is likely to lead the line for Sunday’s Premier League opener against Liverpool.