Arteta comments on Arsenal transfer plans ahead of January window
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Arsenal can compete for the Premier League title next season if they sign Dusan Vlahovic, according to former Gunners star Paul Merson. Arsenal are targeting Fiorentina star Vlahovic in this transfer window. Mikel Arteta could soon be short of attacking options due to doubts over the future of three of his forwards.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contract in the summer and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been told he can leave.
Vlahovic is seemingly the No 1 choice for Arteta to spearhead his attack.
The Gunners currently sit fourth in the Premier League as they aim to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2016.
They haven’t won the English top flight since 2004 but Merson believes Vlahovic can be the player to help them compete again.
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The Serbia striker has 16 goals in 19 Serie A appearances so far this season.
Merson wrote for the Daily Star: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is finished at Arsenal. He won’t be coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations.
“They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders.
“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.
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“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.”
Arteta and technical director Edu have been praised for their recruitment in the last 18 months.
But Merson says a striker now must be on the agenda.
“I think there are good things happening at Arsenal,” he added.
“Mikel Arteta has got them playing well. But they need a proven striker next season.
“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.”
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