Jamie Redknapp backs Arsenal to swoop for John Stones transfer


Stones could be offloaded by City (Picture: Getty)

Jamie Redknapp believes Mikel Arteta should sign John Stones from Manchester City to help ease Arsenal’s defensive woes.

Arsenal’s frailties at the back were on show again in the 2-1 defeat to north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday, with Sokratis and David Luiz combining to gift Spurs’ their equaliser just moments after the Gunners had gone in front.

Arteta bemoaned Arsenal’s defensive mistakes after the game, insisting the club cannot move forward until there is major improvement at the back.

Stones appears surplus to requirements at City and Arteta coached the Englishman when he was Pep Guardiola’s No.2.

And with Arsenal showing no sustained signs of improvement, Redknapp has urged Arteta to raid his former club to sign Stones.

‘What’s next for John Stones?’ Redknapp wrote in his Daily Mail column.

‘One of Virgil van Dijk’s biggest assets is his decision-making. He knows when to play and when to put the ball into row Z. With Stones, that’s been a downfall.

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‘He is quick, strong and brave in the air but he’s made high-profile mistakes.

‘The spotlight has been on him since he was signed from Everton for £47.5million so his errors always catch attention.

‘But Stones is still only 26 — the same age Van Dijk was when he joined Liverpool. He is young enough to mould, but has only started once in the league under Pep Guardiola since January.

‘Arsenal need a centre back, and Mikel Arteta knows Stones from his City days. That could be a good fit.’

Stones has started just eleven Premier League games this season having rapidly slipped down the pecking order at City under Guardiola.

Although Arteta praised his players after the defeat to Tottenham, the Arsenal head coach was ruthless in his assessment of his side’s defending.

He said: ‘We tried our best, I am really proud of my players. I’ve never seen us play like this before, dominating an opponent as much as we did today.

Arsenal’s defenders have face a lot of criticism (Picture: Getty)

‘But we gave them a goal again, conceded at a set-piece and at that level you cannot do that.

‘The game was ours, we had total control. They didn’t generate anything, every time we pressed, they couldn’t come out ball after ball.

‘It’s difficult to attack a low block like this, but we created enough chances. But the small details cost us and that is the biggest part we have to address as a team.

‘We will keep trying to improve and coach the players to get that [the mistakes] out of their head.

‘It happened today and when it happens in big games the margin isn’t big enough to win games.’

MORE: Martin Keown names two positives for Arsenal after Tottenham defeat

MORE: Jose Mourinho sends classy message to Mikel Arteta after Tottenham beat Arsenal in the north London derby

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