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Andrey Arshavin believes Arsenal needs to buy “three or four real stars” before they can challenge for trophies despite the current position in the Premier League table.

Arshavin said he has thought Arsenal have been weakened by selling Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer and only bringing in Thomas Vermaelen to replace them. That, combined with injuries to Robin van Persie, Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Ramsey, will make it “difficult to achieve success” this season, he claimed.

“I am still of the opinion that to win trophies Arsenal needs more players,” Arshavin is quoted as saying in the Sun. “There is the simple fact that last summer we sold two players and bought only one. So there is an obvious deficit of at least one. Then we lost Van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey for a long time. So for me it is natural we need new players.

“Without the variety of players we have less diversity in attack. That allows our opponents to read our combinations more easily. Finally, it results in less ball possession for us and our defence comes under more pressure.

“The Premier League is very interesting, at least as long as we continue fighting to win it. But without new experienced players, real stars, it will be difficult to achieve success. Ideally we need three or four such experienced players and then among our youths there should be guys who are not only good at playing football but have real character.”

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