Merson urges Arsenal to move for Chelsea centre-back target

Date published: Tuesday 11th February 2020 10:37

Paul Merson believes Arsenal should attempt to sign former Chelsea defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth this summer.

The 24-year-old has emerged as one of Bournemouth’s key players since signing from Chelsea four years ago, initially impressing on loan before signing on a permanent basis for a club-record £20million.

Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for their former player, as they have a £40m buy-back clause in place that runs out this summer, but Merson reckons Ake would be a welcome addition at his former club Arsenal.

Asked which areas Mikel Arteta should be looking to strengthen ahead of the summer transfer window, Merson told Sky Sports: “They need a centre half and a world-class holding midfielder.

“I think Arsenal need to play with a back three. They’re not good enough as defenders to play as a four.

“Ake has pace and he’s played in England for a while, so if you brought him in for next season he’s not a player who will need time to get used to the league for six months.

“Arsenal need to hit the ground running [next season] and everybody needs to know their jobs in the team.”

Former Crystal Palace and Republic of Ireland forward Clinton Morrison agrees with Merson, adding: “They need another centre half and a holding midfielder. Nathan Ake could go in there, he’s a really good player.”

Arteta did bring in another centre-back in January in Pablo Mari but is still expected to strengthen in that area come the summer.


Meanwhile, former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has vehemently defended his tenure at the Emirates, and pinpointed two key issues as to why his stint was ultimately ended at just 18 months.

The Spaniard was replaced by Mikel Arteta as Gunners boss in November after enduring a run of seven matches without a win across all competitions.

Arsenal have fared little better since his departure, however, with the Gunners registering just three wins from nine under Arteta’s stewardship thus far.

Now, speaking to France Football, Emery staunchly defended his managerial stint in North London. Read more…



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