Arsenal hero Paul Merson believes that Arsene Wenger’s team needs a ‘whole new spine’ if it has aspirations of challenging for the Premier League title.
Despite a strong season so far, the Gunners are well placed to qualify for the Champions League and are in the final of the FA Cup, Merson believes Wenger has a lot of work to do this summer to get the squad into shape.
Arsenal could yet finish second in the Premier League table if they get a positive result away to Manchester United on Sunday, but Merson wants a complete overhaul in key positions ahead of the next campaign.
Speaking to Sky Sports as reported by the Daily Mirror, Merson listed the key areas to strengthen as he sees it - goalkeeper, central midfield and central defence.
“They definitely need a new goalkeeper,” Merson said. “If you look at their two goalkeepers, when have they saved them points over the course of the season? I can’t remember many times.
“At centre-back, Gabriel Paulista could be pretty good next season but they still need another centre-half and they also need a holding midfield player, but I don’t know who they’ll go for.
“You could say Morgan Schneiderlin, but at the same time a lot of Southampton players went to Liverpool last year and not many of them have cut it.”
Most pundits identify central midfield as a key area for the Gunners, with Jack Wilshere injury prone and Mikel Arteta approaching the latter years of his career. A dynamic presence like Schneiderlin or Lars Bender is needed, and Wenger could move early in the window.
It’s unlikely that the Gunners will bring in another goalkeeper though, despite reports that link them with Chelsea’s Petr Cech, as Wenger only signed David Ospina last summer as competition for the club’s former number one, Wojciech Szczesny.
What do you think Arsenal fans - do you agree with Merson’s assessment?
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