Arsenal should be putting their transfer focus elsewhere amid a chase for attacking midfielder James Maddison, one pundit has claimed.
The Gunners have ticked a number of key boxes during the summer window so far. Following the arrival of left-sided player Nuno Tavares, midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga signed from Bayer Leverkusen. However, former Brighton centre-back Ben White is the costliest deal so far at £50million.
Now, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has his eyes on a creative midfielder. Despite initial links with Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, Foxes star Maddison has become a key target.
Arsenal have reportedly offered fringe players Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in a players-plus-cash proposal to Leicester.
Speaking to talkSPORT, though, former Premier League star Darren Bent insisted that Arsenal have their priorities wrong.
“[Maddison] is a fantastic player. I’d love to see him in an Arsenal shirt, but I believe there’s other positions that are probably more important than maybe getting that playmaker,” the pundit said.
“We’ve just seen [Emile] Smith Rowe, who was brilliant last season, signing a new contract. “We’ve still got [Bukayo] Saka there too.
“Of course you want good players in, and Madison is a very good player, but maybe another central midfielder?
“Maybe a right-back? A right-back would be important.”
Hector Bellerin has only two years left on his current contract. What’s more, he has had links with Inter Milan and Barcelona for some time.
Behind him, Cedric Soares is also a right-back, while Calum Chambers and Rob Holding can play there.
However, as with Kieran Tierney at left-back, Bent would like to see a new star nail down the opposite flank.
Arsenal handed Maddison transfer warning
As for Arsenal’s Maddison chase, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insisted that the reigning FA Cup champions feel under no pressure to sell their star man.
“In conversations with the club, we don’t have to sell. That’s something that’s been made clear,” he said. “The players want to stay. It’s a really exciting time at the club.
“There’s lots of gossip and speculation around but I’m loving working with the guys here, they love being here, and we certainly have no need to sell.
“So I would suspect we’re looking to keep our best players.”
Maddison has scored 27 goals and assisted 20 others in 118 games for the Foxes.
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