Arsenal got their Premier League campaign off to the worst possible start, losing 2-0 to newly promoted Brentford, a result which piled further pressure on manager Mikel Arteta
Darren Bent has told Arsenal to sack Mikel if they even have the slightest ‘inkling that they could get Antonio Conte’.
Despite the Premier League season being just one game in, the pressure is already piling on the Spaniard after their dismal defeat to Brentford.
After a positive start under the Spaniard in the second half of the 2019/20 campaign, his first full season in charge didn’t go to plan.
The Gunners could only finish 8th last term, ensuring they missed out on European football for the first time in 25 years.
Therefore, there is extra pressure on Arteta and the 2-0 loss against Brentford has put his role under further scrutiny.
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Although there are no signs of any imminent decisions – Arteta is set to land two of his top targets in Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale – reports in the Italian press had suggested Antonio Conte was being ‘lined up’ to replace him.
Conte is out of work having left Inter Milan at the end of last season, despite guiding them to the Serie A title.
He was then widely expected to succeed Jose Mourinho at Tottenham only for that deal to collapse late on in negotiations.
And Bent believes if there is a chance to lure the ex-Chelsea boss to The Emirates, Arsenal chiefs should act decisively with the club going ‘backwards’ under the current head coach.
“It’s tough to watch,” the former Spurs striker told talkSPORT. “The performance against Brentford was poor, they were bullied. It wasn’t good to watch and I felt sorry for Ben White.
“If we want to get back to the good times, you sack Mikel Arteta and bring in someone like Antonio Conte.
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“They are spending a lot of money on new players and we seem to be going backwards. With Conte it’s a different kettle of fish.
“If they can get Conte, you get him. But would Antonio Conte come? I don’t know.
“If they’ve got an inkling that they can get Conte, sack Arteta.”
The Norwegian’s arrival could be confirmed as early as Friday, with the Gunners needing to register the player before midday in order for him to be registered.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are set to finally land Sheffield United goalkeeper after the Championship club agreed to reduce their transfer demands.
The Blades had initially wanted close to £40m for the 23-year-old, but after lengthy negotiations a £24m deal is now reported to be very close.