Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes the Gunners should move to sign Yves Bissouma from Brighton and Hove Albion this summer, insisting the Seagulls midfielder would represent an upgrade on Granit Xhaka.
Campbell came through the ranks at the Arsenal Academy and earned first-team promotion in 1987. He had loan spells with Leyton Orient and Leicester City before returning to the club on the last day of 1989 to establish himself fully in the team. Throughout his time in North London, he made a total of 161 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, scoring 40 goals. He left to join Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1994, and went on to play Turkish club Trabzonspor, Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City. He retired from playing in 2007.
“For five years that Xhaka’s been here we haven’t qualified for the Champions League,” the 51-year-old told Football Insider. “That’s not all his fault but he’s played his part. People aren’t convinced because he’s been there, he’s got the experience, yet in the first half of the season we were awful with him in the team.”
Campbell also criticized Xhaka for throwing down the club shirt, which he says is a ‘no-no’ for any fan base. It’s hard to disagree on that one, though Xhaka seems to have gotten over his frustrations which culminated in that disturbing act when he was being replaced in the Crystal Palace draw at the Emirates last season.
But Campbell also believes that the Switzerland international isn’t starting XI material, and he thinks that 24-year-old Bissouma would complement Thomas Partey in the middle of the pitch well.
The size of the funds to be put aside for transfers this summer is still unclear, but many believe a midfielder should be one of the priorities in the market. Much will depend, of course, on what happens with Real Madrid loanees Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard, with Arsenal reportedly keen to make both deals permanent.