Arsenal legend implores Arsene Wenger to continue to buy

Paul Merson believes the Gunners are still "a couple of players short" before they can sustain a legitimate challenge

"I still think Arsenal are a couple of players short," said renowned former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson in his Sky Sports column when assessing the club's transfer activity. "They need a world-class holding midfielder and a centre-half with major pace because they play on the half-way line and their defenders need to be quick," he added.

It had been mooted that manager Arsene Wenger would look to purchase a utility player… a footballer who can play both at centre back and in central midfield while, this week, a staggering £51 million offer for wantaway Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani has also been speculated.

Thus far, though, Wenger has demonstrated exceptional market acumen by acquiring Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, a ready-made Bacary Sagna replacement in Mathieu Debuchy, cover for Wojciech Szczesny in David Ospina and one-for-the-future in Calum Chambers - a player whose pre-season has been so strong that he may well end up being one-for-the-present.

Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, as the club look to kick-on in the first game of the new Premier League season following their comfortable 3-0 victory over reigning champions Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Merson believes a 2-0 victory for his former club is a strong possibility: "I think they will beat Crystal Palace, but it will be a tight game – there will be no cricket score here.

"Arsenal showed in the Community Shield that they’re as good as anybody when a game opens up, but Palace are going to sit with 10 behind the ball and give them no space. They will frustrate them and try to catch them on the counter-attack, exactly like Villa did this time last year.

"If Arsenal win this it will be a very hard win – it won’t be a walkover."

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