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Micah Richards sends warning to Mikel Arteta & questions Arsenal summer signing

Micah Richards has issued a word of warning to impressive Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and questioned Gunners summer signing Gabriel.

Former Manchester City and England defender Richards has been impressed by Arteta’s reign at the Emirates but says ‘this is only a start’.

Arteta returned to his former club last December, leaving his role as Pep Guardiola’s assistant to take over from Unai Emery.

While Arsenal only finished eighth in the Premier League last season, Arteta led the club to another FA Cup triumph and has overseen an impressive start to the 2020-21 campaign.

The Gunners kicked off their season by beating champions Liverpool in the Community Shield and have since won three of their four league matches.

Richards is a big fan of Arteta but has warned the Spaniard he needs to target a top-four place given the quality in Arsenal’s squad.

‘What I think is important to point out is the fact this is only a start,’ Richards told MailSport.

‘Arsenal are in a good moment but let’s be honest – he hasn’t lifted a side that was marooned at the bottom of the table and taken them to unprecedented heights.

‘This is Arsenal and Arteta walked into a club that had one of the world’s best strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a £72m winger in Nicolas Pepe; he’s signed Willian and he’s got a brilliant talent in Eddie Nketiah emerging.

‘When you add in that they have just signed Thomas Partey – what an unbelievable piece of business that could prove – Arteta has got a lot of quality to choose from.

‘Arsenal, really, should be looking at the top four.’

Despite praising Arteta’s Arsenal, Richards has revealed he is still ‘bothered’ by the team’s defence and is unsure whether new signing Gabriel is good enough.

Brazilian defender Gabriel, 22, has largely impressed for Arsenal following his move from Lille over the summer but Richards is seemingly unconvinced.

He added: ‘Arsenal’s defence still bothers me – is Gabriel the right standard? – but it is evident they are moving in the right direction.

‘They are a long way from the peaks that Arsene Wenger brought but the picture is improving. Most importantly, nobody is laughing at them any more.’

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