Lee Dixon says not even Virgil Van Dijk could fix Arsenal’s defence after seeing his former side comfortably beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League final.
After a goalless first half, Unai Emery’s side capitulated in the second period as goals from Olivier Giroud, Pedro and an Eden Hazard brace sealed victory for Chelsea.
Arsenal‘s defensive frailties were again evident on what turned out to be a disappointing night in Baku, with familiar problems at the back exposed by their London rivals.
Dixon, who won two league titles with the Gunners, says even the signing of Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk – the PFA Player of the Year after helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to the Premier League‘s best defensive record – wouldn’t solve Arsenal’s problems.
“Andy’s talking about the big player coming in, it’s the mentality at the club [that is the problem],” Dixon said on BBC Radio 5Live.
“I’m telling, you could put Van Dijk in that back four at the moment, the way that the team is set up without the ball – he wouldn’t make much difference.
“It’s about the mentality of changing that around, they’ve not been good without the ball for years now.
“That takes more than one player. It takes more than five minutes.
“It takes a lot of work and effort on the training pitch. He’s got to be given time to do that but he also needs the quality of player to do that.
“It’s alright saying, ‘Well you can learn off one guy…’ It takes time.”
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) May 30, 2019