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‘Arsenal should take £40m gamble on Dunk’ – Gunners need ‘a stopper’ not a ball-player, says Parlour

18:53 GMT+4 28/01/2020
Lewis Dunk Brighton 2019-20
The former midfielder believes Mikel Arteta should be looking closer to home for another defender and raiding Premier League rivals Brighton

Arsenal should be considering taking a calculated “gamble” on Brighton defender Lewis Dunk if he can be acquired for around £40 million ($52m), says Ray Parlour.

The Gunners are in the market for defensive reinforcements before the January transfer window slams shut.

They have been closing in on a deal for Flamengo star Pablo Mari, but no agreement with the 2019 Copa Libertadores winners has been completed as yet.

As a result, Arsenal are now pushing it close when it comes to getting additions on board before the deadline.

Mikel Arteta has seen the need to bolster his ranks heightened by the injury that Shkodran Mustafi sustained during a 2-1 FA Cup win over Bournemouth.

Parlour believes that the Gunners would be advised to look closer to home for suitable centre-half additions, with Dunk a proven Premier League performer that would fit the mould.

The former Arsenal winger told talkSPORT: “I’d take a gamble on people like Lewis Dunk. Is it a gamble? £30million/£40million would Brighton take that I don’t know?

“I like the way he plays, I think he’s a proper centre-back. That’s what you need sometimes.

“Sol Campbell was a proper centre-back, he was a stopper. He would stop you scoring and that’s what you want from your centre-back, they don’t need to be great on the ball.

“Someone like Lewis Dunk, who probably is a little bit unlucky not to be more in the England squads.”

Arteta has admitted to scouring the market for potential signings.

He told BBC Sport when asked if a setback for Mustafi would see that recruitment process sped up: “We are in the market. We are looking for some things with the resources we have and we will tell you when we have more news.”

Defensive leaks have remained a problem for Arsenal in 2019-20 despite investing again in that area last summer.

Kieran Tierney has been ruled out of contention at left-back through injury, while David Luiz is yet to convince since swapping life in west London at Chelsea for that in the north of the English capital at Emirates Stadium.