Gary Neville is right. If ever Arsenal needed the Kroenkes to take transfer action it’s now, with the Gunners still in pole position to win the Premier League title despite being held by Newcastle on Tuesday night. That stalemate shows the north Londoners aren’t the finished article just yet, however, and a player with the dynamism and X-factor of Mykhaylo Mudryk certainly wouldn’t go amiss over at the Emirates Stadium…
Arsenal had gone into their match with Newcastle hoping to take another step towards title glory, with fans inside the Emirates roaring them on.
But the Gunners would slip to a draw instead, with Eddie Howe’s resilient side worthy of a point after they avoided defeat.
In previous seasons, failing to beat Newcastle on home turf would have been a poor result. Given how the Toon have been reborn from the ashes ever since their lucrative Saudi takeover and Howe’s appointment, however, that’s no longer the case.
Still, Arsenal weren’t entirely after the game. According to Arteta they should have had two ‘scandalous’ penalties, though not everybody is in agreement.
However, while the result represents just a minor setback, it’s clear Arsenal should give Arteta more backing as he looks to steer them to a first Premier League crown since 2004.
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Their starting XI these days is strong, with Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli starting in a front three.
Yet when it comes to their bench, less so.
Arsenal had three defenders sitting among their substitutes and, with Gabriel Jesus presently injured, look light in attack as they go in search of glory this year.
Marquinhos was the only attacker who was an option for Arteta to come on but the Spaniard, clearly believing it was best to stick rather than twist, didn’t bring him on.
Arsenal have, as previously mentioned, been winning matches on a regular basis this term. This was just the third time they’ve dropped points all season long, an impressive record given the young age of their squad.
But the match against Newcastle should encourage the Kroenkes to splash the cash and meet Shakhtar’s asking price for Mudryk.
The Ukraine international is the talk of the Emirates right now, amid a hope he’ll end up leaving his homeland to play on the grandest of stages in the Premier League.
Mudryk has been in outstanding form this term, scoring 10 goals across all competitions - including three in the Champions League.
And the 21-year-old has also clocked up eight assists, too, establishing himself as one of the best young forwards on the planet in the process.
Mudryk is keen to join Arsenal, even though Chelsea are eyeing a hijack. The Blues, according to widespread reports, will hold talks with Shakhtar this week.
Yet Arsenal can offer him a genuine shot at title glory this year, something their London rivals can’t amid a dire campaign under both Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter.
Had the Gunners had Mudryk on their bench, then it’s feasible they’d have come significantly closer to breaking Newcastle’s impressive resilience.
Arteta has done a magnificent job, particularly this season, having previously been fortunate to avoid the axe on a number of occasions.
The Kroenkes have, over the years, accused of being penny-pinching by fans fed up of Arsenal’s decline in the years since their last title triumph.
Yet the draw with Newcastle should act as encouragement to get a deal for Mudryk over the line and win the faith of supporters once again.
Speaking after the match with Newcastle, Arteta bemoaned the failure to give his side two penalties.
“I’m extremely proud of my players,” said the Spaniard. “The way we played, the way we dominated the game, the way we tried, the way we continued.
“We miss in the final third, we had so many situations and then we had two scandalous penalties.”
Neville, meanwhile, implored Arsenal to splash the cash by saying: “They are in a position where they can win the league here, so when are they going to be in this position again?
“Can the board and owners find those two players that will turn that from one into three points?
“There is 21 games still to go. They will have a lot more of those where they’re going to be up against it - they might be one down and need two goals, so yeah, they need something off the bench.”