‘He’d make them title contenders’: Paul Merson tells Arsenal to sign Dusan Vlahovic to complete revival…and he believes a top-four finish plus a ‘lorryload of money’ would convince Serb to make switch from Fiorentina
- Paul Merson has urged Arsenal to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina
- Former winger believes Serbian is what the Gunners need to compete for title
- Arsenal are poised to lose Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- And Merson believes the Fiorentina hitman is the right man to fill the void
Dusan Vlahovic would turn Arsenal into top-four contenders into genuine title challengers, according to Paul Merson.
The Gunners legend has urged his former club to sign Vlahovic, who has scored a stunning 16 goals in 19 Serie A games this season.
Arsenal are flying high in the Premier League at the moment and with a great chance of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2016.
Arsenal should pull out all the stops to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, says Paul Merson
Merson said Vlahovic, 21, would turn Arsenal into contenders for the Premier League title
But the team are going to be seriously short of striking options next season.
Alexandre Lacazette is due to leave for free in June after running down his contract while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time at the club looks to be nearing an end after he fell out with Mikel Arteta.
Eddie Nketiah is also set to leave after failing to negotiate a new deal, forcing Arsenal into making a move into the transfer market in the summer.
‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is finished at Arsenal. He won’t be coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations,’ Merson wrote in his column for The Daily Star.
‘They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders.’
According to reports, Vlahovic, 21, is holding out for an offer from one of Europe’s biggest clubs and is not immediately tempted by a move to London. But Merson believes he could be swayed if Arsenal clinch Champions League qualification and offer him a considerable hike in salary.
Vlahovic has scored a remarkable 16 goals in Serie A this season in 19 appearances
Arsenal need to sign a striker as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has fallen out with Mikel Arteta
‘I’ve heard he’s not interested in Arsenal right now and I can understand that. But he might change his mind if they finish in the top four and offer him a lorryload of money,’ Merson added.
‘Arsenal would be able to play him every week because Aubameyang will be gone. Alexandre Lacazette will probably be gone. And so will Eddie Nketiah.
They will need a goalscorer, and Vlahovic scores goals. He’s also still young so he should get better and you’re not wasting money paying a 29-year-old on the way down.’
Merson, who came through Arsenal’s academy and spent 12 years at the club, lifting five trophies, also heaped praise on Arteta.
The Spaniard oversaw Arsenal’s worst ever start to a season as they lost their opening three games but quickly inspired a revival, taking the team into the top four and the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
And he believes adding Vlahovic to the side would help them challenge for next season’s title along with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Alexandre Lacazette is also set to depart after running down his contract at the Emirates
Merson, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 12 years with Arsenal, praised Arteta’s work this season
‘I think there are good things happening at Arsenal. Mikel Arteta has got them playing well. But they need a proven striker next season,’ added Merson.
‘He’s signed a keeper, defenders, full backs, midfielders and a No 10, promoted kids on the wings – a proper centre forward could be the missing piece.
‘I’m not saying they’ll win the league if they get Vlahovic. But they’ll have a chance to make it a four-horse race at least.’