'Even Van Dijk couldn't fix Arsenal's defence' - Gunners legend Dixon sees big job ahead for Emery

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A crushing Europa League final defeat to Chelsea has, according to a man who once graced a famous back four, highlighted problems in north London

Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies are going to take a long time to fix, says Lee Dixon, with a former Gunners star saying even Virgil van Dijk “wouldn’t make much difference” in the current unit.

Leaks at the back have become an all too familiar problem for those at Emirates Stadium.

Long-standing concerns were highlighted once again in a crushing 4-1 Europa League final defeat to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Unai Emery’s side collapsed after being breached in Baku, with the Blues running away with a continental crown.

There are considered to be some serious issues to address in north London, but Dixon sees no quick fix.

Other sides, such as Liverpool, have thrown big money at landing proven performers, but a man who once graced a fabled back four at Arsenal says there is no obvious solution to the current problems.

Dixon, who spent 14 years with the Gunners in his playing days, told Radio 5 Live: “I’m telling you, you could put Van Dijk in that back four at the moment, the way that the team is set up without the ball - he wouldn’t make much difference. 

“It’s about the mentality of changing that around, they’ve not been good without the ball for years now. 

“That takes more than one player. It takes more than five minutes. 

“It takes a lot of work and effort on the training pitch. He’s got to be given time to do that but he also needs the quality of player to do that. 

“It’s alright saying, ‘Well you can learn off one guy…’ It takes time.”

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Arsenal are approaching another transfer window and are expected to bolster their ranks over the summer.

Concerns have, however, already been raised as to the budget that Emery will be given, with the Gunners famed for their frugal approach to recruitment.

Inspiration is required from somewhere, though, with the club facing up to a third successive season without Champions League football.

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