Paul Merson gives his honest opinion on Arsenal's Lucas Torreira

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Arsenal fans had been crying out for a strong, commanding defensive midfielder ever since Patrick Vieira left the club back in 2005, but Gunners fans have had to settle with a plethora of replacements that have exuded averageness.

It is arguable that Gilberto Silva held the fort rather well for his last three years at the club, but for at least the last ten years there has been a gaping void in front of Arsenal's back four.

With Unai Emery's appointment, fans were hoping that finally - with a fresh pair of eyes - their club could invest in some reliability and stability in midfield.

Emery's answer to Arsenal's problems came in the form of 5 foot 5 Lucas Torreira, a £26.4 million signing from Serie A side Sampdoria.

Torreira started the season extremely brightly and amazed fans with his strength and channelled aggression allowing the Uruguayan to win the majority of midfield battles.

However former Arsenal player and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has played down the midfielder's success at the club thus far and in relentless fashion too.

Merson even went as far to claim that Torreira would not get in any of the over top five clubs starting eleven, suggesting another Premier League alternative in place of the former Sampdoria man.

"Arsenal are now showing their true colours," he told Sky Sports.

"Until they sort out the defence, they won't be able to achieve anything.

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"Unai Emery will need a few windows to sort it out but the players they've purchased haven't been great. Everyone was raving about Lucas Torreira, but he's not that good. I said this a few months ago and everyone kicked up a stink," Merson added.

"He only looks good as he's what Arsenal have needed for a long time, someone to run around and put their foot in. But, if you put him up for sale tomorrow then none of the top five clubs in the Premier League would be interested."

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Merson - who played for the Gunners between 1985 and 1997 - then revealed who he thought Arsenal should sign instead and it may surprise quite a few people.

"They should sign Abdoulaye Doucoure at Watford - he'd walk into the team. I'd take him tomorrow morning. He's a much better player than Torreira and he scores goals. He's one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League - he could play for any of the top six.

"It seems no-one pays attention to him because he plays for Watford and fans will say, 'Why are we buying him, he's at Watford?' - but he's a proper player."

Arsenal fans have reacted to Merson's comments and the mood around the Gunners faithful is not surprising by any means.

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