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Arsenal are missing a midfielder who can do the job of Chelsea and England star Mason Mount, believes Gunners legend Lee Dixon.
Mikel Arteta’s side are struggling for consistency so far this season, with a dreadful performance in their last outing as they were walloped 3-0 at home by Aston Villa.
That was their fourth defeat in the Premier League already this campaign and leaves them 11th in the table, with just nine goals scored in their eight games to date.
Arteta is struggling to get goals out of the front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian, while the midfield of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey is not very threatening at all.
Dixon feels the Gunners need a link between the midfield and the front three and has picked out Chelsea’s Mount as the kind of man they need for the job and take the pressure off Aubameyang to score the majority of the team’s goals.
‘That is a huge, almost total reliance on one player to get you a goal,’ Dixon told the Handbrake Off podcast. ‘No goals from anywhere else, although Lacazette has three in six he seems to have gone off the boil.
‘No goals from midfield at all. No breaking midfield player that forces teams back like a Mason Mount or somebody running through the middle like that and breaking into the box.
‘So, already the way that you can play with that, and I haven’t even mentioned the back four or five, then you’re limited in what you can achieve.’
Arsenal were heavily linked with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar over the summer, who Dixon also feels would be an answer for Arteta.
‘You’ve got to chip away at those little things,’ said the England international.
‘Does he want those types of players? Where’s the creativity in midfield? A player like Aouar would’ve been somebody that would’ve helped.’
Arteta has responded to the criticism of not scoring enough goals, and says his team need to improve to the extent of scoring 90-100 this season to compete with the best sides.
‘To get that balance right is not easy. Considering the fixtures we have played this season; playing Liverpool three times, Manchester City and Leicester. It is not easy,’ Arteta said after beating Molde 4-1 in the Europa League last week.
‘It is something that we have been working on the last two weeks. You could see last night that we were much more fluent in attack. We scored the goals and we had more opportunities.
‘It is part of the team that still has to evolve because we haven’t played many games against low blocks. That is something we have to improve on.
‘To be a top team you have to score 90-100 goals if you want to be competing with the top guns. It is a challenge for us and an area we have to improve and get better.’