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Unai Emery has been tipped to sign a new defender to replace ‘erratic’ Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi. The Gunners have looked revitalised under Emery this season and extended their unbeaten run to 17 games against Bournemouth on Sunday. After 13 league games, Arsenal are fifth – just a point below a Champions League place – and top of their Europa League group. But despite their impressive run, Arsenal have continued to ship goals and Alan Smith expects Emery to target a new defender ‘sooner rather than later’.
The Gunners hero told the Evening Standard: ‘I like the look of Rob Holding. ‘He has had a run in the side, which has been vital for his development and confidence. ‘It can’t be easy playing alongside Shkodran Mustafi in central defence, because the German is very erratic. ‘And it would be no surprise if Arsenal made it their priority to sign a centre-back sooner rather than later.’
Following Arsenal’s hard-fought victory over Bournemouth on Sunday, Jamie Redknapp praised Emery for turning things around at the Emirates. Emery’s predecessor, Arsene Wenger, won ten major trophies at the club but lost his way towards the end of his reign. ‘[Emery] has changed the formation but the big thing is he’s changed the mentality at Arsenal,’ Redknapp told Sky Sports. ‘Over the last few years you would watch Arsenal and say: “They’re soft”