Paul Merson believes Arsenal ‘need a proper centre-forward’ as Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah aren’t good enough to win them the Premier League title.
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Mikel Arteta started Jesus and Nektiah together for the first time for Sunday’s North London Derby against Tottenham.
However, both strikers missed a golden opportunity to score as the Gunners were pegged back twice to draw 2-2 at the Emirates.
The result has left Arsenal four points off league leaders Manchester City after six games and though they are still unbeaten, there are concerns that their title challenge could be over before the season really gets going.
Merson shares this concern, writing in his Sky Sports column: ‘I’ve always said it from day one – Eddie Nketiah is not going to win you the Premier League.
‘You need a proper centre forward. I’m not blaming Nketiah because they drew 2-2 with Tottenham.
‘But with 32 games to go and all the Champions League games they have to play, I don’t think he takes them to the next level. I don’t even think Gabriel Jesus takes them to the next level.
‘I was so confident that Arsenal would win on Sunday but when I saw the teams, I was majorly worried. Jesus on the wing, Nketiah up front, Fabio Vieira – I don’t think he’s good enough. Then Declan Rice comes off and Jorginho comes on.
‘It wasn’t Arsenal’s strongest team but when you think about the Champions League and all the games they have to play, it looked a bit weak on Sunday, didn’t it?’
As for Arteta could sign to remedy the situation, Ivan Toney has been prominently linked with the Emirates amid reports he will leave Brentford in January when his suspension will be over.
Merson believes the England international, who has scored 32 goals in 66 Premier League games, could be a good fit, though admitted there are few options available at the moment.
‘It’s alright sitting there and thinking: “they need a centre forward” – but who is there?’ the Gunners legend added.
‘Only Ivan Toney is available for them in January – there aren’t many centre forwards around in the world. They’re a dying breed.
‘Toney is a good player – he can hold the ball up, he’s good in the air. Arsenal might have to go for him. But there are not a million centre forwards around.’
For now, Jesus and Nketiah will continue to lead the line for Arsenal who travel to Brentford for a Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday night.
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