By Aramide Oladipo
Former Middlesborough player Robbie Mustoe believes that Arsenal won’t be able to challenge for the league title next season because of their ageing squad.
It’s now been 13 years since the Gunners lifted the Premier League title as they produced a record 38 match-unbeaten season.
Arsenal finished runners-up to Leicester City last season for the first time since 2005, but they still found themselves way off the pace as they finished 10 points behind Claudio Ranieri’s men.
Following their victory against Southampton on Wednesday night, Arsenal kept their top-four hopes alive but they are currently 18 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Speaking on NBC Sports, as quoted in the Express, Mustoe fears that Arsenal are going to need a complete overhaul in the summer because their players are too old to compete.
“It’s an incredibly important period for whoever in charge next year to reshape this squad,” he said.
“There’s a lot of possibilities in midfield that they could become weak. You look at the defence, (Laurent) Koscielny, (Per) Mertesacker, (Mathieu) Debuchy, (Nacho) Monreal all over 30.
He concluded: “You compare that against Man City’s squad, Chelsea’s squad, Manchester United, Spurs and Liverpool. It starts to look a long way back with this squad situation where it is right now.”
There is great uncertainty at the Emirates Stadium at the moment as manager Arsene Wenger has yet to reveal his plans concerning his continuity at the club next season.
The situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that key men Alexis Sanches and Mesut Ozil have also failed to clarify their future plans.
Securing a place in the Champions League this season could encourage both players to extend their stay at the Emirates Stadium not to mention attract others to north London.
In other Arsenal news, 28-year-old responds to recent criticism.