Ex-Arsenal defender Lauren has admitted there is “no doubt” Tottenham are currently a better team than his former club.
Spurs have finished above their north London rivals in each of the last three seasons and qualified for the Champions League at Arsenal’s expense once again in 2018/19.
The Gunners have enjoyed success in the FA Cup in recent years but Tottenham have generally been superior under Mauricio Pochettino, who led his side to the Champions League final last term.
Speaking to bwin ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which he won on two occasions with Cameroon, Lauren suggested it will be a while until Arsenal can match Spurs again.
“There’s no doubt that Tottenham are a better team than Arsenal at the moment – Unai Emery can change that, but it will take years,” Lauren said.
“Tottenham finished above Arsenal this season and they have consistently been better for the past few years, they can thank Pochettinho for that.
“Tottenham did not get to the Champions League final by chance, they got there with a talented squad and excellent managerial skills from Pochettinho.
“We have to recognise that Tottenham are, for now, a better side than Arsenal. After seeing the football that Emery has got the Arsenal players playing, I have faith that Unai Emery can make Arsenal a better club than Tottenham again.
“Emery will need a few years to make the difference and really put his mark on Arsenal but I believe that he is the man to make the difference and the improvement will come step by step, with patience from the players, club and fans.”
It’s certainly a frank assessment from Lauren given some Arsenal-associated pundits have opted against giving Tottenham credit for their progress.
Emery is expected to add to his squad this summer with the aim being to close the gap on Spurs and the other teams in the top four.
Pochettino will also look to strengthen his squad, with Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes the latest to be strongly linked with Tottenham.