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Arsenal need to strengthen - Dein

Andrei Arshavin
Wenger is confident of adding Arshavin before deadline day

Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein says Arsene Wenger has to make a new signing to stop his side's worrying slide down the table.

The Gunners, five points behind Aston Villa in fifth place, are closing in on a multi-million pound move for Zenit St Petersburg forward Andrei Arshavin.

"Arsenal desperately need to sign a new player," Dein told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"Arsene is the one who can turn water into wine but he needs a bit of help."

He added: "Arguably the team has been punching above its weight."

Despite suffering a string of injuries to key players like Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Eduardo da Silva, Wenger has refused to panic buy in the January transfer window.

The Frenchman remains confident a deal for Arshavin can be completed before Monday's midnight deadline.

And Dein believes the capture of the Russia international will give Arsenal the impetus required to regain their place in the top four.

"They desperately need a little bit of extra creativity, but they are going to have to pay up for him," said Dein.

"When I left, I said there was a danger of slippage. That's what's happening at the present moment and that's got to be contained.

"This season is one of the most delicate, in that they are fighting for their Champions League place.

"The first goal is to get that Champions League place. Five points behind Aston Villa is a mini-mountain to climb but there is talent there and there is resolve. They can do it."

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit would welcome the addition of Arshavin at the Emirates, but warned the club are lacking seasoned players with experience.

"The club needs to spend a little bit of money to bring some experienced players who can hold the dressing room and be a leader on the pitch," said the Frenchman.

"When I see Arsenal ready to spend 15m on Arshavin, I don't mind, but I would rather spend that kind of money on bringing back (AC Milan's Mathieu) Flamini.

"I would rather spend money buying some defenders and one more goalkeeper. But you need experienced players to win games at the end."

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see also
Fabregas hoping for early return
31 Jan 09 |  Arsenal
Arshavin deal still on - Wenger
30 Jan 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal 0-0 West Ham
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Arshavin's Spurs move 'ruled out'
29 Aug 08 |  Tottenham

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