Wright urges Arteta to drop ‘negative’ Arsenal star
Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks Reiss Nelson or Bukayo Saka should be given a chance on the right as he urges Mikel Arteta to drop Willian.
Signed on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea in the summer, Willian hit the ground running in the Gunners red when he provided two assists on his debut in a routine win at Fulham.
But he has yet to get on the scoresheet for the Gunners and has only provided one more Premier League assist since his fine display at Craven Cottage.
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And Wright is running out of patience for the Brazilian and he reckons it’s time to try something different.
“I’d try to throw something else into the mix, Reiss Nelson or even [Bukayo] Saka on the right,” Wright told Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast.
“But Saka’s going to be on the left so I’d put Reiss Nelson on the right instead of Willian because we know what Willian’s going to do. For me he’s been a little bit negative with the way he’s been playing, a lot of backwards passing.
“You need somebody who can at least get back and progress the ball.
“If Saka can go and really put pressure on [Serge] Aurier, that’s where I think if we’re going to get any kind of joy then I think Saka’s got to go up there and put pressure on him, then [Granit] Xhaka can pull in on the left, just to put that body in there then [Mohamed] Elneny should hold.”
On the upcoming north London derby, Wright added: “Going into the north London derby, I’m always nervous about it simply because for me it is one of the best games, I enjoyed everything about it.
“And when I went to Arsenal it was the game which meant the most to the fans and at the time to the players because we had a lot of players who came through that derby from the age of nine or 10. This is the first one I’m going to where I am afraid.
“I’m afraid simply because of where Tottenham are at the moment and we can’t ignore where they are at the moment, they’re in the ascendency.
“When you look at what we’re doing at the moment we’re still trying to be finding something – is he going to play four at the back or three? Who’s going to pick up their players.
“This is as afraid as I’ve been for a north London derby as I’ve been for a while and they’ve got Mourinho managing them. He wants to embarrass us.”