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Paul Merson sends message to Mikel Arteta over Arsenal outcast

Paul Merson believes Mikel Arteta should be picking his best players (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson has urged Mikel Arteta to patch up his differences with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if he is unable to sign a striker in what remains of the transfer window.

The Gabon international has endured a miserable two months during which he has been stripped of the captaincy, banished from the first team squad, contracted Covid-19 and returned home early from AFCON amid a medical scare.

In his absence, Arsenal initially prospered winning five successive matches and scoring 19 goals in the process. Recently, however, their reliance on a small clutch of youngsters has begun to tell, with defeats against Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Liverpool threatening to derail their season.

Mikel Arteta is determined to sign a new striker this month, but Arsenal’s efforts to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina appear doomed, while moves for Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin would most likely have to wait until the summer.

Should Arsenal be forced to rely on Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah for the remainder of the campaign, Merson fears their hopes of securing a top four place would fade away and has urged Arteta to build bridge’s with the club’s biggest earner, even if he views a return an unlikely prospect.

He said: ‘You’ve got to get someone in. Arsenal need a centre forward badly next season. No (I can’t see him playing again for Arsenal) not for me. I think Arteta has already laid that one out, he’s chopped his nose off there.

‘He’s hung him out there to dry, it’s going to be some going by the lad to come back. It could do (impact their top four hopes).

‘Not saying Aubameyang is going to get them in the top four though but they do need a centre forward.

‘Aubameyang on form could get them there. I always think pick your best players but what’s gone on between the pair of them the manager and him needs to be sorted out first.’


MORE : Why Arsenal are preparing to offer Mikel Arteta a new two-year contract


MORE : Why former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny’s return to France hasn’t gone to plan

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