Merson says Mikel Arteta sack looms after slamming two lazy Arsenal signings

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson, Sky Sports pundit,. tips Villa to sell star

Paul Merson reckons Mikel Arteta could ultimately end up paying with his job after criticising the club’s decision to sign two players this summer.

As things stand, the Gunners are the Premier League’s top spenders this summer. Deals for Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard means they have spent in excess of £130m.

Odegaard’s move back to Emirates Stadium was confirmed on Friday. The Norwegian, who impressed on loan last season, has cost the Gunners an initial £27m.

Merson, though, reckons his capture will prove a costly mistake and could, ultimately, lead to his axing.

“Mikel Arteta is making a mistake signing Martin Odegaard – and his job could soon be on the line,” Merson wrote in his Daily Star column.

“Arsenal have already lost to Brentford and now they have to play Chelsea and Manchester City.

“They could be bottom of the league and I don’t think the board are going to hang around with Arteta for long if he goes on a bad run.

“If Odegaard really wanted to be at Arsenal he would have signed at the end of his loan. But he didn’t want to join them. He wanted to go back to Real Madrid.

“He didn’t exactly pull up any trees on loan did he? Odegaard only scored two goals! I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s another lazy signing.”

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Arteta is also at odds with Arteta for the huge fee the Gunners have spent on signing Ramsdale.

“No other Premier League team was going for him [Odegaard]. No-one else is trying to sign Aaron Ramsdale either.

“I wonder if it really is Arteta. But whoever it is, it will be Arteta paying the price if it all goes wrong.

“Anything could happen when Arsenal take on Chelsea this weekend but I think this is a big few weeks for my old club.”

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Merson unhappy at Arsenal exits

Arsenal’s “lazy” recruitment also earned a rebuke from Merson earlier in the week.

The former Gunners star has also questioned their thinking over the sale of Joe Willock and signing last summer of Willian.

“It’s worrying at Arsenal. You’re still thinking: ‘Where are they going?’ Edu has come in, and the recruitment has been lazy, if I’m being honest. It’s been: ‘Oh, we’ll take Willian on a free… we’ll take David Luiz for cheap.’

“I remember years ago in football, managers were judged on signings. Sometimes I think Arteta is left behind, and I’m not sure how much of a say he has got in all of this.

“Why would you let Joe Willock go? I’m not saying he’s the answer, but he’s come through the club and is going for £25m. That sort of money isn’t going to change Arsenal. It’s not like a Harry Kane or Jack Grealish sale where you get £100m and can rebuild the team.

“But Arsenal are prepared to pay Willian big money. Where is the future in that? It’s quick fixes. Surely Willock is a future player and for the present, and can be involved in the plan.”

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