Monday 23 September 2019

Exclusive - Paul Merson identifies the player Arsenal should have bought last summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes the enduring reign of the club’s manager Arsene Wenger is damaging the club, as he has accused the veteran manager of putting the push for profits ahead of success.

Sky Sports pundit Merson won two English league titles during his time as an Arsenal player under George Graham’s management and then worked with Wenger following the Frenchman’s arrival at the club back in 1996.

Yet Merson pulls few punches as he suggests Wenger should have stepped down as Arsenal manager long ago, as he suggests the club should have set a new transfer world record to sign France striker Antoine Greizmann after last summer.

“Arsenal have more than £100m reserves in the bank so go and put an offer in that will make big clubs sell their best players. Everyone has a price,” Merson to Independent.ie, speaking at an event to promote a bumper line-up of festive football on Sky Sports.

“They could have bought Greizmann last summer. Atletico Madrid might not want to sell him, but it Arsenal offered £100m for him last summer, they would have got him.

“Luis Suarez the other year…putting in a bid of £40m and £1 to Liverpool. It was embarrassing. If they had put in a bid of £70m, they would have got him and they’d have won the league a couple of times in the last three years, but they is not how they do it.

“They should be bringing in better quality players than they are, but it’s just not happening and I don’t see this season being any different than the ones that have gone before over the last 10 years and more.

“What is success at Arsenal at this stage? Finishing fourth in the Premier League and getting the Champions League money seems to be their main target. That is not good enough for the fans.”

Merson also suggested that even Arsenal’s rival supporters enjoyed watching Wenger’s side in action as they appreciate they are not a threat to anyone in the race for Premier League title glory.

“Right now, everyone loves Arsenal and says how great they are and there is a reason for that; they never win anything. That is the honest truth,” he added.

“Man United were playing great football a few years ago, but I didn’t hear people saying how much they loved watching them play. That is because the rest were all jealous that they were winning everything.

“It will only be when you stop hearing people say how much them love watching Arsenal that we will get a point where they might actually be a threat to the serious contenders once again.”

Sky Sports is the home of Festive Football with over 60 matches and the biggest head to heads in Premier League, EFL and SPFL.

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