'Arsenal won't sign world class players' - Emery favouring 'functional' additions, claims Campbell

Unai Emery
The former Gunners striker is hoping to see funds made available this summer, but does not expect a Spanish coach to go in pursuit of "star names"

Arsenal will be favouring “functional” players over “star names” in the next transfer window, claims Kevin Campbell, with Unai Emery approaching “a crucial summer”.

The Gunners will be in the market for fresh faces once the 2018-19 campaign comes to a close.

A suitable replacement for Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey will be sought in midfield, while Emery is considered to have several areas of his squad that need to be addressed.

Comings and goings are guaranteed, but how many remains to be seen.

That could be determined by budget, with the Gunners being urged to relax their frugal approach to recruitment and back their manager in a competitive market.

Campbell believes targets will have already been identified, with a side still chasing down a top-four finish and Europa League glory set to prioritise the right additions over supposedly “world class” names.

“I think Unai Emery knows what he wants already,” the former Arsenal striker told Express Sport.

“He’s very meticulous in his planning and if I’ve gathered anything from listening to him and seeing how he prepares, he will know the targets he wants to attract.

“It may not be these star names, the world class players, but Arsenal could do with some functionality and being tough to beat and having players that will put a shift in.

“It’s not the name on the back of the shirt, it’s more the front of the shirt and the heart to get the team moving forward.

“Unai Emery is going to batten down the hatches and bring in an influx of players that are going to be functional for him.”

Campbell added on the need for the Arsenal board to display some ambition: “He’s [Emery] going to need funds without a shadow of a doubt, it’s key to how well Arsenal do moving forward.

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“We are going to find out if they want to compete not only by how much money is available, but how much backing he gets.

“This is a real crucial summer for Arsenal and if they want to compete in the next five years they have to get this transfer window right.”

The Gunners are back in Europa League action on Thursday, with La Liga outfit Valencia due at Emirates Stadium for the first leg of a semi-final showdown.