Sol Campbell has urged Mikel Arteta to follow Liverpool’s lead by investing heavily in a top class defender like Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had made several smart moves in the transfer market prior to forking out £75million on the Dutchman in 2018.
Van Dijk’s price tag was questioned at the time, but his arrival has since helped take Liverpool to a new level.
Arsenal are some way off the Premier League champions, but Campbell feels making a marquee signing at the back could solve their defensive woes and give them a solid platform to build on.
He told Stadium Astro : “Look what Liverpool did, you know [Virgil] van Dijk. For me, could I see Arsenal spending that type of money?
“Sometimes it does take that type of money if a player is nailed on and you’ve got to get him and he can actually start to change the outlook of your team, especially from the back.
“It might take something like that, they don’t mind buying [Nicolas] Pepe and that kind of big money up front.
“But, you’ve got to realise that sometimes you need to catch up with the rest of the guys.”
Arteta has a number of stars at his disposal who are still yet to convince at the centre of the Arsenal defence.
David Luiz has earned a new one-year contract extension, and Shkodran Mustafi is enjoying a resurgence under Arteta, but the jury remains out on both players, as well as teammate Sokratis.
Youngster William Saliba has completed his £27million move from St Etienne ahead of next season, but he is deemed one for the future, and Campbell feels an established star alongside him would pay dividends, no matter the cost.
“Sometimes when the player does come available and you really think, ‘This guy can really change it’, and you’ve looked at all the scenarios, you might have to dip in the pocket and buy someone big at the back to take that on and then you build around him,” Campbell added.
“But you’ve got to go for it. Going for it at the front, paying big money for front guys, but don’t underestimate getting quality defenders to hold that back line together.”
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