Arsenal almost signed Gary Cahill when he was a free agent, but Unai Emery ended up going for David Luiz instead.

Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that former Arsenal target Gary Cahill deserves to be in the Premier League team of the season.

90 Minutes reports how Arsenal almost made a move for Cahill when he was a free agent last summer, but ultimately decided against bringing the experienced defender in.

Arsenal, instead, went after David Luiz – and that decision may have to be reflected on as a mistake now.

Cahill has enjoyed an excellent season for Palace, while Luiz has not fully convinced at the Emirates Stadium.

And Merson said: “Cahill goes in alongside Van Dijk. He’s been outstanding for Crystal Palace.

“He came in last summer and you’ve got to remember he didn’t play much football at all last season for Chelsea. He was completely frozen out at Stamford Bridge and he really shouldn’t have been considering what he did for the club and what a good player he was.”

Cahill could have brought experience and calmness to the Arsenal defence if he was signed, but instead the Gunners’ defence has looked shaky this season.

Although they have made major improvements under Mikel Arteta, it is expected that Arsenal could be significant changes to their defence in the transfer window.

Arsenal have already been linked to a number of players who could line-up in their back-four next term, with Arteta seemingly deciding that making his side tougher to break down should be considered a priority.

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