‘Why are you playing them?’ – Ian Wright questions Mikel Arteta over three Arsenal players

Arsenal summer arrival Willian has disappointed Ian Wright (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright has urged Mikel Arteta to begin putting his faith in Arsenal’s young talent over the likes of Willian, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi and believes the club’s upcoming clashes with Brighton and West Brom are ‘must-win games’.

The Gunners are hovering just four points above the relegation zone after losing eight of their opening 14 matches in the Premier League and head coach Arteta is under intense pressure ahead of a busy winter schedule.

Summer arrival Willian has badly struggled to live up to expectations this season and Wright hopes the Spaniard mixes things up on Boxing Day when the north London outfit play host to bitter rivals Chelsea.

Smith Rowe impressed after coming off the bench against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

He believes defenders Kolasinac and Mustafi – who both started as Manchester City knocked Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup in midweek – should also drop out of the side at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

‘I have to say, from my point of view, with the manager and the players he’s picking now, I think people like Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock and those guys, I’d like to see them have a chance,’ the legendary ex-Arsenal striker said on Optus Sport’s The Kelly and Wrighty Show.

‘That’s simply because you’re looking at the Willians, it’s not happening and he’s not playing well. Why are you playing people like Kolasinac? Why are you playing someone like Mustafi? I’d rather see [William] Saliba who is playing in the Under-23s, I’d rather see Smith Rowe and I’d rather see something different.

‘I would say to the people upstairs: give Mesut Ozil the money if you’re not going to play him and move him on. Same with Kolasinac and same with those players that are in and around the club and aren’t going to contribute.

‘That’s what he needs, players who are contributing. Arsenal have to realise they’re in a situation that can get worse and if they do lose those games against Brighton and West Brom… those games are must-win games.’

Wright hopes Arteta puts his faith in Arsenal’s young talent (Picture: Getty)

Wright continued: ‘What Arsenal fans have to recognise at the moment is where we are.

‘It’s the realisation of where we’ve also got to look at the players in the dressing room. Do they realise what’s going on?

‘I watched Burnley beat Wolves the other day and it was a performance from a team who know where they are.

‘And this is what I’m saying with Arsenal, there’s not many players… I think [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang in Jurgen Klopp’s last season at Borussia Dortmund might have been flirting with it but they got out of it at the end, no problem.

‘I think Cedric Soares at Southampton had a time where they were struggling but there’s not many in that dressing room that know about the situation they’re now facing.’

Arsenal confirmed on Thursday that Thomas Partey would play no part in the side’s clash with Chelsea this weekend due to his thigh injury.

However, there’s a chance club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (calf) and Gabriel Martinelli (shin) could feature at the Emirates.

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