By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal have been urged to sign Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama by club legend Robert Pires.
The former winger, who still often trains at the club’s headquarters and is close to manager Arsene Wenger, believes Wanyama could fill the void left by injured trio Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta.
Wenger has admitted that he is in the market for a new midfielder in the January transfer window as he struggles to cope with a crippling injury list.
Pires is convinced that Wanyama, who was the subject of sustained interest from Tottenham last summer, is the type of player that Arsenal should be looking at.
“I know Wanyama,” he is quoted as saying by London Evening Standard. “He is a very good ambassador of Kenyan football and has done well in Southampton but I hope he signs for Arsenal in the future.
“He has the speed, skill and physique. However, I think he needs to score more goals because then he will be world-class material.”
It is unlikely that Southampton would be willing to sell former Celtic man Wanyama in the January window, with Ronald Koeman keen to stress last week that none of his squad will be leaving St Mary’s Stadium.
The 24-year-old came close to leaving the club last summer when he handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Spurs.
But Koeman stood firm, blocked his exit and told him to follow the lead of Morgan Schneiderlin who was not allowed to leave the club when Tottenham were interested in him in 2014 and a season later moved to Manchester United.