Petit fears Arsenal may run out of steam (Picture: Getty)
Emmanuel Petit fears Arsenal’s lack of squad depth could hamper the Gunners’ chances this season, suggesting reinforcements are needed in January.
Arsenal dropped points for just the second time this season as Southampton fought back to claim a point following Granit Xhaka’s opener on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s side enjoyed a sublime start at St Mary’s but wilted as the game wore on. Amid a frantic run of fixtures, there has been little time to hand rests to Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard with Petit fearful over the drop off in quality should one of those star men pick up a knock.
‘I thought the first-half was great from Arsenal; the way they played, their energy, their movement. I’m not saying they could have sealed the game but they could have easily scored one or two more goals,’ Petit told Ladbrokes Fanzone.
‘My only concern was that physically the team struggled in the second-half, and I think that’s linked with the depth of the squad, or the lack thereof.
‘Southampton came out very well in the second-half so you’ve got to give them credit for the character and fight they showed, and ultimately I’d say they deserved at least a point.
‘Leaving St Mary’s with a point isn’t a bad result; you haven’t lost the game and you’re still top of the table. It’s a great starting eleven Mikel [Arteta] has assembled, but I worry about what happens if one of those players gets injured.
Petit fears what will happen if one of Arsenal’s stars is injured (Picture: Getty)
‘That’s a big concern for me; that lack of depth. You could see again yesterday, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard are all doing a really great job. But it’s only those four; if one of them gets injured, what options does Mikel Arteta have?’
Eddie Nketiah is among those hoping to offer Arteta an alternative option in attack while Emile Smith Rowe could be back in training by the time Arsenal resume their league campaign in December following the World Cup.
Petit suggests however ‘big decisions’ are needed when the transfer window opens.
‘A couple of younger players from the academy have just signed new contracts, Eddie Nketiah being one.
‘But can you fight for the title or the Champions League with these players if any of those big four names get injured?
‘I’m not sure, and I don’t know what the plans are in the next transfer window, but that’s definitely something I would be looking to address. Some big decisions need to be made in January.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Will Arsenal be able to copy if one of their stars picks up an injury?