Arsenal lose Premier League title as Arteta given transfer priority in dismal Forest loss | Football | Sport
Arsenal suffered a dismal 1-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest on Sunday, meaning they cannot catch Manchester City in the Premier League. The Gunners’ top-flight chances were ended thanks to Taiwo Awoniyi’s first-half strike. Here are five takeaways from the City Ground.
Title race over
Man City have been crowned Premier League champions after Arsenal’s surprise defeat against Forest. The Gunners’ remarkable dip in form over the last month has seen them slip away, and despite a fantastic campaign for Mikel Arteta’s side, they will finish second.
Arteta given new transfer priority
If Arsenal are to put forward a stronger challenge to Man City next season, Arteta needs a prolific striker. The North Londoners will not topple City so long as Pep Guardiola has Erling Haaland and Arteta has the guy City sold to accommodate the Norwegian.
Gabriel Jesus has played a key role for Arsenal this season, helping to link play while those wide of him – Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka – have been relied on for goals. However, Arteta needs a prolific centre-forward to end Arsenal’s two-decade-long wait for a Premier League title.
Ben White, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Jesus all struggled to get going at the City Ground. Individual inconsistency has played a huge role in Arsenal giving up their title hopes over the last month.
In the absence of Oleksandr Zinchenko, White adopted the role of the full-back who moves inside to create a back three in possession – but seemed uncomfortable. Left-back Tierney failed to make the impact that White would usually have when he is given freedom to move forward.
In midfield, Xhaka was substituted early in the second half. Saka’s season has tailed off rather dramatically, while Jesus was nullified by Forest’s centre-backs. Arsenal scarcely looked like a team fighting for a Premier League title after going 1-0 down.
Arsenal should consider midfield alternative
Arteta seems set to add Declan Rice and at least one other midfielder in the summer. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo is believed to be one target, while Southampton’s Romeo Lavia has also been linked.
But Arsenal could do much worse than sign Morgan Gibbs-White. Positioned behind Awoniyi, the 23-year-old’s driving runs with and without the ball were key to Forest’s positive performance.
Gibbs-White’s energy and verve would make him the ideal replacement for Granit Xhaka, who seems set to leave the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal would of course need to stump up a sizeable fee for the England U21 starlet, for whom Forest are believed to have paid up to £35m last summer – but it could be worth the huge cost.