Arsenal are close to Premier League title bid - Phil Neville

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Arsenal's 'focus & fluency' please Wenger

Arsenal could challenge for the Premier League title if they sign a "world-class" goalkeeper, says Phil Neville.

The Gunners moved level with second-placed Manchester City, and have a game in hand, after beating Hull City 3-1.

Asked what Arsenal need to win the league next year, ex-Everton captain Neville said: "I look at David de Gea and he has won five or six games for Manchester United with important saves.

"If Arsenal get a keeper in, they can be a championship-winning team."

Colombia international David Ospina, 26, is Arsenal's current number one goalkeeper after signing from Nice for £3m last summer.

He replaced Poland's Wojciech Szczesny as first choice at the turn of the year.

Arsenal
Phil Neville says Arsenal's first-half performance against Hull was reminiscent of the Gunners' successful teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s

'Best Arsenal performance in years'

Arsenal swept aside Hull with a dominant first-half performance at the KC Stadium on Monday night, with Alexis Sanchez scoring twice and Aaron Ramsey also on the scoresheet.

Neville, who was working as a summariser for BBC Radio 5 live, said: "That was the best 45 minutes I've seen Arsenal play since the days of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (1997-2000).

"It was a 'wow' performance. They popped the ball about, they had runners in behind, the work-rate, the togetherness, the vision... I just thought it was magnificent. I think this is a different Arsenal team. We've seen them play beautiful football before, but that was a winning-big-trophies type of football.

'Marvel at Wenger's team'

"I hear Arsenal fans all the time saying they want to change the manager and bring in somebody like (outgoing Borussia Dortmund boss) Jurgen Klopp but you just have to marvel at the way Arsenal play," added Neville.

"I've watched Arsenal for a number of years and have been frustrated at times but what I saw in the first half at Hull was a team that actually played winning football. They defended deep and with discipline and attacked with such speed and quality.

"I think it's vital Arsenal finish second. Even though it probably means nothing and it's not a position you should be proud of, for the first time they are showing signs of progression.

"Of all the sides in the top four, apart from Chelsea, I think they are the best equipped to challenge next year."

Arsenal's remaining Premier League fixtures
11 MaySwansea (home)
17 MayManchester United (away)
20 MaySunderland (home)
24 MayWest Brom (home)

'All about second'

Following the victory over Hull, Wenger, who has won three Premier League titles at Arsenal but none since 2004, told BBC Sport: "It is all about finishing second for us, step by step.

"I believe now we are certain to make the top four and now it is about finishing second but even more so to keep the quality high and concentrate on the next game.

"Being in the FA Cup final helps us to keep our concentration but I feel we have made progress and we want to continue to develop as a team."

But can Arsenal win the league next season?

"I'm not a prophet," concluded Wenger, 65, in his post-match news conference. "Football is unpredictable, no one knows how strong teams will be at the start of the season. What is important is to start strong.

"What is at stake now is to finish second. If we maintain our run we will, and then it's the FA Cup final."

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