Frank McLintock demands Arsenal learn from Luis Suarez saga and start striving for next level

The Gunners' double-winning captain says the club needs to start acting like a top team by being willing to pay for world-class talent such as Luis Suarez.

Former Arsenal captain Frank McLintock has told talkSPORT that it is high time the club started acting like one of the top teams in the world, citing the failure to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool as an example of their small-club mentality.

The Gunners missed out on signing the Uruguayan from Liverpool in 2013 when they famously offered £40,000,001 for the forward, reportedly in a bid to activate a believed release clause.

In the event, despite Suarez publicly stating he wanted to leave Anfield, the Reds refused to sanction a move to the Emirates Stadium for their prized asset, and the star went on to score 31 goals in 33 games the following season, winning the European golden boot and the PFA and FWA player of the year awards.

Suarez ultimately moved to Barcelona the summer after Arsenal's interest in a deal worth around £75 million and has become one of the biggest stars in world football.

McLintock, who played over 400 games for Arsenal and led them to the league and FA Cup doublle in 1971, insists that the club's refusal to pay just an extra few million cost them the chance to bring Suarez to the club, and cites it as a sign that the Gunners do not act like a top team.

He told talkSPORT: "We were in for Suarez - £40 million and one pound they put in and they lost the deal. What a chance for us to go in and say to Liverpool ‘£45 million’. They were 99 per cent certain of getting him for that.

"He is just one example of players we have missed out on. You don’t get these type of players coming along every day and you are capable of buying them. He is worth about £80million now.

"Arsenal now, with the money they have got, have got move to along. We have got to challenge as if we ARE one of the top teams in the world, not just an also-ran. We are well behind the four or five top teams in the world."

The Gunners have seen a promising season in which they were challenging for honours on three fronts ebb away and they now look almost certain to end the campaign without a trophy.

After being knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford, their expected Champions League exit against Barcelona was confirmed on Wednesday, with Suarez scoring a stunning goal in a 3-1 second-leg with for the Spanish side.

Arsene Wenger's side are 11 points off the pace in the Premier League, albeit with a game in hand, ahead of their trip to Goodison Park to face Everton this weekend.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch