Arsenal are still winless in six Premier League games.
While Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Southampton was a gritty performance that saw them clip the wings of their high-flying opponents, it must be said that they were at home against a team they have lost to just once in their last nine meetings.
For it to be hailed as any sort of progress would be misleading.
Nevertheless, the Gunners did pull a point out of the fire, particularly given the context of the game.
Arsenal conceded first, as Theo Walcott scored, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised to give the Gunners hope of notching up their first three points since the 1-0 win over Manchester United.
Gabriel was sent off just 10 minutes later, though, becoming the third player, after Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka, to be red carded in their last five domestic games.
Gabriel has been a stalwart at the heart of the defence this season, making 12 appearances in the Premier League and scoring twice.
His performances have seen Shkodran Mustafi benched, with the German making just two substitute appearances this term, and ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes that the 28-year-old is certain to leave the club at the end of the season.
Mustafi’s contract expires in the summer and he does not believe that a new one will be offered, believing Arsenal should use the opportunity to bring William Saliba into the first-team fold.
Saliba has yet to be included in a Premier League squad this season for the Gunners.
Speaking to Football Insider, Campbell said: “Apparently Saliba has made great strides in training.
“Mustafi is going to leave at the end of the season, that is a done deal from both sides, and Saliba needs minutes, so why not give him the minutes that Mustafi is getting?
“To me it makes no sense. I like to think Arteta would use Saliba in the Europa League and FA Cup games we have coming up rather than sending him out on loan.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
What Campbell said.
He’s absolutely spot on here, and if Mustafi, who is valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, really is leaving, he and Saliba should absolutely swap roles.
One is a veteran defender with a storied history of costly mistakes, the other is a youngster learning his trade at the highest level.
Keeping Saliba out of the loop just doesn’t make any sense; he could offer an intriguing option off the bench for Arteta this term.
He should take Campbell’s advice.News Now - Sport News