Paul Merson believes losing top four place could be good for Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

The Gunners are facing a fight to secure Champions League football this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene WengerArsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that failing to finish in the top four could actually be a positive thing for Arsenal this season.

The Gunners finished second last season but the campaign has widely been considered a failure given the manner in which they fell away in the title race in 2016.

They face a fight to make it into the top four this year, with Manchester United and Chelsea looking to get back in under new managers, while Liverpool have also strengthened heavily for a top four push.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Arsene WengerPicture Supplied by Action Images - Arsene Wenger

Failure to qualify would be a huge disappointment for the Gunners, but Merson says that it could actually help them in the long term.

“If Arsenal had bought a world-class centre forward and centre half, I would have picked them for the title, but they haven’t,” he told Sky Sports.

“It would probably help them in the long term if they didn’t finish in the top four for one season because it would force them to make some changes.”

Arsenal manager Arsene WengerArsenal manager Arsene Wenger

It now remains to be seen if Arsenal can make it into the top four next season should they fail to add to their squad.

The upcoming campaign is looking to be one of the fiercest yet, with Jose Mourinho, Pepe Guardiola and Antonio Conte all looking to make an instant impact at their new clubs.

Add Tottenham, Leicester City and Liverpool all looking to build on strong seasons and it would not be surprising to see the Gunners missing out.

Arsenal manager Arsene WengerArsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch