Arsenal tipped to miss out on Champions League qualification again

Posted Tuesday, August 08, 2017 by

Arsenal tipped to miss out on Champions League qualification again

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson has said Arsenal are going backwards and haven't signed enough players to challenge for the title.

Fearing Alexis Sanchez will be gone by the end of the transfer window Merson, who spent 12 years at Arsenal up to 1997, told Sky Sports his predictions for the coming 2017/18 season.

He explained: "Arsenal [will finish] 6th. I think they're a long way off still, I really do."

"I don't see Alexis Sanchez staying at Arsenal by September, and when you look at the rest of the team, I don't see it happening."

Arsenal have signed long-term target Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and defender Sead Kolasinac from Schalke so far this Summer, with both performing admirably in pre-season.

Merson continued: "Alexandre Lacazette is a good player, but not everybody else was going after him. If you're good and playing in France, PSG will be after you, or Monaco, who lost a lot of their players. That's my worry. He plays that one-two, which will be good for Arsenal, but he's not going to beat three players."

"Wenger should let Steve Bould manage Arsenal's Europa League campaign"

Merson cast doubt on Arsenal's ability to juggle the Europa League with other commitments: "People talk about Arsenal in the Europa League, maybe suggesting they won't bother trying in it, but Arsene Wenger still has to fly out somewhere on the Wednesday, won't get back until the Friday. It is still tiring.

"Therefore, I would tell Steve Bould to be in charge of the Europa team, and Wenger could work at home with the Premier League team."

Arsenal new boy Alexandre Lacazette is in elite company

Only 5 players in Europe's top 5 leagues scored 20+ goals in each of the last 3 seasons:

C. Ronaldo
L. Messi
A. Lacazette
H. Kane
S. Agüero

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 16, 2017

The numbers suggest Lacazette will likely turn out to be a smart addition, even at a club-record fee potentially rising to £52.6 million, although questions about his size and performance in big games have tempered Arsenal fans' expectations somewhat.

Lacazette is one of an elite five players to score over 20 league goals in the past three seasons. He managed 37 goals in all competitions for Lyon last season helping, the French club finish in Ligue 1's fourth spot.

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