Thursday 27 October 2016

Cazorla: We need to shore up defence for tilt at title

Arsenal must tighten up their defence if they are to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title, according to Santi Cazorla.

The Gunners were one of the form teams in 2015, securing automatic qualification for the Champions League by finishing third and then retaining the FA Cup after beating Aston Villa at Wembley.

There is no doubt Arsene Wenger's squad have the firepower to challenge the best, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Spanish midfielder Cazorla feeding a formidable frontline of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott.

However Cazorla, who revelled in a number 10 role towards the end of the campaign, believes Arsenal's title hopes in 2016 will rest on a solid rearguard action.

"One of the key areas we have to focus on next season is being a very strong defensive team," he said. "If we have got those things under control our offence is already good enough.

"We need to make sure that the positioning of our backline is strong and always stays that way. Last season we lost so many points against small teams at home, and if we want to win the league we can't lose those points."

Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for Chelsea's veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech. Porto forward Jackson Martinez, rated at around £25million, is another reported target.

Meanwhile, striker Lukas Podolski has left the Gunners to sign for Turkish side Galatasaray in a £1.4m deal. The German international went on loan to Inter Milan last January.

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