'We need another defender' – Wilshere admits Arsenal look short at the back ahead of Premier League opener

The England midfielder admits The Gunners could use another centre-half but says their attack is already strong enough to compete for the title

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has suggested that Arsene Wenger needs to sign a defender in the transfer window in order to turn his side into Premier League title challengers.

The Gunners have been reasonably quiet in the market so far, with Granit Xhaka’s arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach followed only by the signings of youngsters Rob Holding and Takuma Asano.

An ankle injury sustained by Gabriel has left Wenger facing a defensive selection worry ahead of the opening game with Liverpool on Sunday, however, and has further encouraged speculation linking the club with bids for Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi and West Brom’s Jonny Evans.

Lyon have also rejected a €35m bid from Arsenal for striker Alexandre Lacazette, though Wilshere feels the club are already strong enough in attack and would rather the addition of a centre-half.

“We picked up a few injuries in defence so we probably need to get a defender in,” he told Sky Sports. “But even then we brought in Rob Holding, who has done great in pre-season, and we have got another young centre-back in Calum Chambers. 

“Going forward we are one of the best teams in the league. I think people forget in the past few seasons we have bought Mesut Ozil for big money and Alexis Sanchez, who are top players and have got used to the Premier League.

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“Going forward we are strong enough. If the boss feels we need to add another striker then I’m sure that he will pick the right one as he has in the past.”

Wenger, who took charge of Arsenal in September 1996, is entering the final season of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and is looking to deliver a first league title since 2004.

But Wilshere says his manager is as desperate as ever to deliver success to the Emirates Stadium, regardless of speculation over his future.

“I have not seen anything different in him,” said the England international. I see the same hunger, if not even more hungry. For me, he has been great over the years and he continues to be.

“He is a top manager and I know the Premier League has added some of the best managers in the world but, for me, the boss is up there and I think he shows that with his hunger every year.

“He just keeps going each year. I think he really feels like he can win and do something special with this team so he just keeps going.”

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