Ex-Arsenal star Paul Merson believes his former club will finish 10th this season, despite the club’s spending in the transfer market this summer.
The Gunners have shelled out £142m on six players but Merson doesn’t think that the London club have the squad to compete for a top-six place:
“If they come fifth or sixth I think they’re pulling up trees, 10th is about right. At the moment, Arsenal are middle of the table. They won’t finish above Leicester and they definitely won’t finish above Tottenham after they kept Harry Kane. I don’t think they would. Everton look organised with Rafa now, West Ham look decent, it’s going to be hard. It’s not a free ride anymore.”
Considering the massive investment in the team, a mid-table finish would be a huge disappointment but, on the evidence of the opening three games of the season, it looks like a realistic possibility at the moment.
There are undoubtedly mitigating factors for Arsenal’s poor start. They have faced two title contenders in Chelsea and Manchester City, whilst also having to deal with injuries.
On top of that, it took the entire transfer window to bring in the signings that manager Mikel Arteta wanted so you would hope that things would begin to settle down in the next few weeks.
Even so, results are needed now and Arteta won’t be given a long grace period to turn things around. The outcome of matches this month will determine the Spaniard’s future.