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David Seaman says the Arsenal board must back Mikel Arteta in the transfer market if he delivers FA Cup success.
The Gunners handed a former captain the managerial reins at Emirates Stadium in December after sacking Unai Emery the previous month.
Emery was punished for a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, and Arteta was charged with the task of steadying the ship following an impressive three-year spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
Fast forward seven months and the 38-year-old has transformed Arsenal into a far more competitive outfit, as evidenced by recent victories over Liverpool and City.
The north London outfit beat the newly-crowned Premier League champions before knocking Guardiola’s men out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals, and they now have a final date against Chelsea at Wembley to look forward to this weekend.
The Gunners ended up finishing eighth in the top-flight, meaning they must beat the Blues to secure a spot in the Europa League.
Should the FA Cup return to the Emirates trophy cabinet, Seaman wants the club to provide Arteta with enough funds to complete a squad overhaul, having been impressed with the impact the Spaniard has had in such a short space of time in the hot seat.
Quizzed on the importance of domestic silverware for his old club, the former Arsenal goalkeeper told the PA Agency: “It’s a huge game for Arsenal. We need it far more than Chelsea because we need that European place.
“To end a season where we are eighth in the league and no European football is not a very good season at all for Arsenal’s standards. We really need it.
“I am so desperate for us to win it. All that desperation comes through the fact that we have not had the best of seasons and we need that European qualification.
“Not just for the club, but also to attract other players as well. I am sure Arteta has got plans to bring players in.
“I just hope the board backs him on what he wants and who he wants, because in Mikel Arteta we have got a really good manager and you don’t want to lose someone like that just because the board won’t back him or give him money to spend.
“When he first joined I was a little bit disappointed because I thought they might have gone with Patrick Vieira because of his time at the club and also his experience, he’s been a manager elsewhere.
“But when I saw his first interview I was like, ‘Woah, this guy knows what he wants’. To do what he has done, I think he has done a great job and that is why the club and the board need to back him.
“They need to buy the players he wants. He knows what he is doing, he will know what he wants and hopefully, he can get those.”
Seaman went on to insist that Emiliano Martinez should retain his spot between the sticks against Chelsea on Saturday despite the fact that number one shot-stopper Bernd Leno is now back in training following a lengthy injury lay off.
He added: “I would be very surprised if Leno plays. It is a huge game and Martinez has been brilliant and we have all seen how good he is.
“It is not just all of a sudden, he has been out on loan to a lot of clubs and has done really well. He is 27 now, he has got a lot of experience. It is looking good. It is good for the club that we have got two good goalkeepers.
“On Saturday there is no question for me that Martinez plays because of how well he has been doing. You can’t just put Leno back in for one game. It takes a little while to get up to match speed.”
ENGLISH FA CUP
Arsenal v Chelsea