Arsenal suffered their biggest defeat under Unai Emery as they were hammered 5-1 by a high-flying Liverpool side in their last game of 2018. The Gunners opened the scoring at Anfield through an unlikely source - Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with the young English full-back netting his first goal for the Arsenal senior side.
Liverpool scored a quick-fire double via Roberto Firmino to put Liverpool up in the 16th minute. Sadio Mane scored the 3rd goal for the Reds, from a delicious pass by in-form Mo Salah, with the Egyptian putting the game to bed with a fourth goal in the dying minutes of the first half, after being brought down by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Roberto Firmino completed his well-deserved hat-trick in the second half from the spot, as the Gunners conceded a second penalty when Sead Kolasinac bundled Dejan Lovren in the box. Conceding 2 penalties and leaking 5 goals in a single match shows how Arsenal desperately need to beef up their defense.
The Gunners have shown tremendous improvement under the leadership of Unai Emery, going 22 matches unbeaten, before their amazing run was halted by Southampton.
Arsenal have shown their pedigree under Emery, and the addition of a world-class centre-back could propel them to a top four finish this season. Having only kept three clean sheets and conceded 31 goals in the Premier League this season, mending the defense should be a priority for the Gunners this January.
Here is a look at centre-backs Unai Emery could sign to boost their top four chances this season.
#5 Nathan Ake
Nathan Ake has developed into one of the finest defenders in the division since leaving Chelsea in 2016 to join Bournemouth on a loan deal.
Bournemouth finally signed the Dutch defender in 2017 for a club record fee. Having only made 17 appearances for the Blues, Ake has amassed 74 appearances for Bournemouth across two seasons so far.
The young Dutch defender was crowned Bournemouth supporters player of the season in his first full season since leaving Chelsea. His impressive performances and improvement under Eddie Howe hasn't gone unnoticed, as he has made 10 appearances for the Dutch national team.
Ake's versatility and calmness on the ball is exactly what Arsenal need in their defense, and his Premier League experience makes him a perfect fit for the Gunners' shaky defense. Ake is comfortable in possession, hence would be perfect for Unai Emery's Arsenal.
All stats via transfermarkt