Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to overhaul his "poor" defence by replacing three centre-backs in the summer transfer window.

The Gunners kept a clean sheet in their 3-0 victory over Premier League stragglers Sheffield United on Sunday - but that was their first shutout since January.

Arsenal's mixed form this season leaves them firmly in mid-table, a whole 10 points behind fourth-place West Ham with virtually no hope of securing Champions League qualification.

Ex-England midfielder Paul Ince believes a sub-par defence has contributed to Arsenal's underwhelming season and called on Arteta to offload Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and David Luiz.

Ince called on Arteta to shake-up his defence this summer
Ince called on Arteta to shake-up his defence this summer

"I still think defensively they are poor," the former Manchester United and Liverpool star told Premier League Productions .

"If you look at the defence, apart from Kieran Tierney, I am looking to change three or four of them.

"No disrespect to Holding or Chambers or Luiz, but if you want to go forward… you see where they are in the table.

Luiz and Chambers are two of the defenders who are not up to scratch, according to Ince
Luiz and Chambers are two of the defenders who are not up to scratch, according to Ince

"This team should be competing for Champions League places so there’s four of five new players they need to bring in to that team."

Despite Ince's downbeat assessment of Arsenal after their victory at Bramall Lane, Arteta was pleased with his side's clean sheet and their overall professional performance.

"I am really happy with the way we played," said the Spaniard.

"We scored some really nice goals and controlled the game the way we wanted.

"We played at a high level. From the start I felt the boys were at it, we were efficient. This is ideal preparation for Thursday. It has been a long run without a clean sheet."

Arsenal face Slavia Prague on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

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