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'Arsenal need Koulibaly!' - Emery urged to target Napoli star

2:57 PM GMT 26/09/2019
Kalidou Koulibaly Napoli
A former Gunners' midfielder doubts whether his old club can finish in the top four without bringing in defensive reinforcements

Arsenal must set their sights on Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly when the transfer market reopens, according to former midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong.

Unai Emery's men have had a mixed start to the 2019-20 campaign, recording three victories along with two draws and a defeat in the Premier League.

The Gunners sit fourth in the table ahead of Monday's clash with Manchester United, but they have looked extremely vulnerable at the back, conceding 10 goals in total.

David Luiz has failed to convince in the heart of the defence since his £8 million switch from Chelsea while the likes of Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac continue to underwhelm.

A 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on August 24 showed just how far away Arsenal are in terms of mounting a genuine title challenge, with Frimpong adamant that changes must be made.

The Ghanaian, who played at the Emirates Stadium between 2011 and 2014, has urged Emery to target Napoli's Koulibaly in order to shore up the defence.

While being quizzed on how Arsenal have fallen in recent times, Frimpong told Meta Ratings: "Pretty far, to be honest.

“I watched the game against Watford and it wasn’t good. Our defence is certainly weaker, when you compare it to Liverpool or Man City.

“David Luiz has been making some mistakes, and in my opinion, there’s little difference between Luiz and Mustafi; I would rather see Callum Chambers selected.

“They need to be buying better defenders, like Koulibaly, who can make a big impact on Arsenal’s team.”

When asked if a player like Koulibaly could help ensure the Gunners qualify for next season's Champions League, Frimpong responded: "Yes, a Koulibaly!

“They have to improve the defence to challenge.”

Koulibaly has spent the last five years of his career in Naples, emerging as one of the most highly-rated defenders in European football.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been linked with the 28-year-old in the past, while Barcelona are reportedly preparing to launch a bid for his services in January.

Arsenal will be looking to put some distance between themselves and arch-rivals United when they travel to Old Trafford on Monday night, before resuming their latest Europa League campaign at home to Standard Liege three days later.