Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has told his former club they must back manager Mikel Arteta in the transfer market this summer if they want to challenge for the Premier League title.
This season, Arteta has overseen a resurgence at the Emirates with the club back among the fight for a top four spot again following successive league finishes of eighth place under the Spaniard.
However, despite evident progress, Arteta has spoken of the need to make further improvements to his side in order to reach the levels of the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Petit – who won a league title with the north Londoners in 1998 – agrees with Arteta, pointing out that he’s drawing the maximum from the current squad and now requires additional signings.
Speaking to bookmakers.co.uk, he said: ‘Since Mikel Arteta arrived at Arsenal, he’s been steady. He still has a lot to do, but he has done a lot of good things already.
He has found his first XI and now the players appear to be a happy group.
‘They seem to understand the way Arteta is asking them to play, but after the Crystal Palace game I believe he said he wants seven new signings for next season, and I completely agree with him.
‘Arsenal are doing everything they are capable of at the moment. With this team Arteta has some quality, but not enough to compete with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. But he cannot perform miracles either.’
Last summer, Arteta spent over £100million rebuilding his squad and bringing in the likes of Martin Odegaard, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Aaron Ramsdale.
Since losing the first three league games of the season, Arsenal have recovered well, with youngsters Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli forming the bedrock to a Champions League charge.
However, despite being just three points off fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand, optimism has drained away from the Emirates in recent weeks following back-to-back league defeats to Crystal Palace and Brighton.
Meanwhile, serious injuries to left-back Kieran Tierney and midfielder Thomas Partey have left Arteta short of options for the season run-in.
Petit believes Arsenal are losing form at just the wrong time but can still pip rivals Tottenham to a Champions League place which could prove pivotal to the club’s summer plans.
He said: ‘It was the worst week Arsenal have had this season since the very start of the Premier League when they lost to Brentford and Chelsea, and then followed that up by losing to Manchester City.
‘The timing of these defeats has been very bad. I was very disappointed with how Arsenal played against Crystal Palace, and I was expecting a reaction from the players against Brighton.
But Brighton were the best team on the pitch at the Emirates last Saturday.
‘I still believe Arsenal can reach the top four come the end of the season.
They have the chance to play Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham before the end. Arsenal’s best games this season have come against the top teams in the Premier League, so they can do it!’