Merson says Arsenal is one injury away from trouble in this position

Former Arsenal man Paul Merson believes they need to improve their attacking options.

The Gunners have added Gabriel Jesus and Marquinhos to their attack in this transfer window.

They now start with an attacking trio of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus.

The three of them did well as they opened their campaign with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Mikel Arteta’s side will want to build on that, and they seem to have the attacking firepower to sustain a title charge, at least for the first half of this season.

Merson admits their current attack looks good, however, he fears that it lacks depth and believes a single injury could see them struggle to score goals.

He writes on Sportskeeda: “The front four look lively for Arsenal.

“They’ve got everything between them and if they stay fit, Arsenal are going to have a good Premier League season. If one of them gets injured, however, they’re in trouble.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Squad depth is very important because the season is long, and we will compete in at least four competitions.

The goal is to achieve success in at least one of them, but we will hardly succeed in that regard if we don’t have enough players.

In a long season, some of our players will get injured, and others would be suspended. If there are no alternatives, we will suffer in these circumstances.


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  1. ESR is a at least one option for depth. Nketiah has promise too.

    It still looks like they need one more quality depth option in the front line – and that the club has recognized this and are trying to address it (e.g., Pino).

  2. Bit of a misleading statement. ESR was ahead of Martinelli for parts of last season with an impressive goals to minute rate and can potentially play in place of Ode. Viera seems to have been signed to play CM/CAM as well and can play on the wings. Eddie is obviously Jesus back up and finished last season well whilst looking sharp in preseason. The back up to Saka seems to be the main concern but that seems to be where we are looking with an eye for versatility even if RW back up is the main role. Martinelli/ESR have been talked about by the manager as potentially being options up top as well. Even Eddie/Jesus in a 2 if we had a wing crisis showed itself to be a viable option in preseason.

    Not too concerned, worst case scenario we end up with one of Pepe/Nelson/Marquinhos as the 6th forward which is hardly world ending.

  3. I think Marquinhos will turn out be a dark horse later in the campaign. Guy has good physical build for his height and seems very very mature for his age. He might surprise everybody if given chances.

    Was never quite convinced of Nelson personally. I would look out for Flores this season on loan and how he develops. He might be one to watch next season.

    And Pepe, what to say. So much talent but mentally not there. He strikes me as the guy who can’t push beyond his comfort zone and gets frustrated or demotivated if things go wrong. When he plays, his mind seems to be holding his body back from performing and doing what’s necessary. He will struggle even if given chances. You need strong heads in this league, mental fortitude and will and even an average player can get results.

    Nketiah, I like him. He is a spirited lad. So, he will perform well when needed. Also ESR for that matter if he can get fit for the season. He fights well.

    But still we lack depth upfront, and I worry about Jesus that he will be the target of rough tackles this season, especially against rough teams like spuds, hammers. palace. Teams know he is the key to Arsenal’s chances at the CL this season and especially spuds would want to foul those chances if needed. And you know how their CBs and midfields are, Romero, Hojberg, Bentacaur, Bissouma, they are very rough in their manners and won’t hold back from aggressive tackles. So that is a worry. Saka, Marti,, and Jesus need to be very careful this season.

    Btw, excited about the Pino rumors, lad can play anywhere upfront and seems like headstrong player, quality that we need upfront when in trouble. I hope it’s wrapped up soon.

  4. Pepe has to leave…..he is a bad egg in the team. We must do everything to move him on. He’s not going to deliver. He needs a new challenge elsewhere. His presence in the team is what has cost us Nelson’s progress. This team should prepare for another trophy-less and failed season if Pepe remains.

    Smith Rowe against Newcastle last season ending showed why he is not suited to wing duties. He doesn’t have the intensity of Saka and Martinelli to match his tactical and technical abilities for a typical Arteta winger. Let’s hope he continues to enjoy his role and development as a number 10/8 like Odegaard.

    Folarin made it clear he wants to play upfront and not on the wings. He wouldn’t have gone on loan. Arteta wanted him, Nelson and Maquinhos to push themselves for the Saka/Martinelli back up role. The trio of them would have been sufficient. But now that Pepe is utterly needless in the team, with Nelson have niggling injuries and Folarin now out on loan to learn his trade for what he wants to come back and do for the team, we need a big signing WF.

    Tielemans signing is not our priority at all. We have enough guys who can fill the number8 duties: Xhaka, Lokonga, Fabio, Odegaard even Niles and Emile. But there’s no genuine or strong cover for Partey in the anchor role. Elneny is not sufficient. We need a guy who can play the role ahead of Elneny if Partey gets injures again.

    One single injury to Partey or any of the trio of our frontline might prove too costly for Arsenal this season. Except Elneny, Lokonga, Nelson and Maquinhos would turn dark horses taking thier games to very next levels beyond anyone’s expectation.


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