Former Arsenal playmaker Paul Merson has criticised boss Arsene Wenger for not signing Karim Benzema in the summer.
The Gunners signed Petr Cech from Chelsea to resolve their long-standing goalkeeping issue but were the only club in Europe not to sign an outfield player.
The FA Cup holders started the season slowly, losing to West Ham on the opening day and drawing with Liverpool at the Emirates. Despite creating plenty of chances in both games, they failed to make their dominance pay and lacked a predator in front of goal.
Speaking to UK tabloid the Daily Star, Merson, who won the league, FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup in his time in north London, said Wenger should have splashed the cash in the summer.
“Why have Arsenal only signed a goalkeeper after they finished that many points behind Chelsea last season? They should have gone for Benzema,” Merson said.
“Wenger in the summer compared Olivier Giroud to Benzema, but the Real man would get more goals. Wenger should have put in a bid for £70million. If he didn’t want to come then so be it, but at least Wenger could have shown his ambition to the fans. Wenger sees what players are worth and doesn’t want to pay more, but modern football is clubs demanding more than a player is worth. You don’t get players for cheap anymore. Arsenal should have spent in the summer.
“If one of the strikers gets injured, they’re in trouble. Arsenal will not win the league with Theo Walcott up front as the main focal point. They need a bigger focal point.”