Things were made worse yesterday in the lead up to their clash with Chelsea today (12.30pm) as the French boss admitted he tried to sign N’Golo Kante in the past.
But like so many times over the past two decades, the Gunners have fallen short when it comes to meeting the wage demands of players and other clubs with their hefty price tags.
Arsenal are in ongoing negotiations with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil over handing them new contracts and risk losing the duo in the summer if they don’t improve their current salaries.
Paul Merson says other top teams would be reluctant to buy Mesut Ozil
Chelsea v Arsenal combined XI: Which stars make the cut in our team?
Fri, February 3, 2017
Express Sport compiles a star-studded XI of players from Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of their Premier League clash on Saturday (12.30pm)
1 of 13
Which Arsenal and Chelsea stars make it into our combined XI?
Out of all the other top six teams, how many would take any of Arsenal’s players? Laurent Koscielny might get in Liverpool or Manchester City’s back four. Maybe. But who else?
And Merson has laid into the standard of players at his former club – insisting the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham would barely bat an eyelid at anyone should they become available.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
That is, except for Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny.
“Alexis Sanchez won’t be there if there’s no Champions League football. Neither will Mesut Ozil. Shocking isn’t the word. It’s terrible,” Merson said in his Daily Star column.
“Out of all the other top six teams, how many would take any of Arsenal’s players? Laurent Koscielny might get in Liverpool or Manchester City’s back four. Maybe. But who else?
Laurent Koscielny would get into Liverpool and Manchester City's defence, says Paul Merson
Arsenal's main man Alexis Sanchez is yet to sign a new deal with the Gunners
“Sanchez is the only one. Ozil? I don’t think most of them would pay the kind of money he wants for someone who doesn’t turn up in certain games.
“Go through the rest. Gabriel? No. Lucas Perez? No. Nacho Monreal? No. Francis Coquelin? He was at Charlton a couple of years ago! Mo Elneny? No. Granit Xhaka? No. He’s a liability.
“Theo Walcott? No. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? No. Hector Bellerin is great going forward but not a great defender. Danny Welbeck I like but he’s been injured. And Petr Cech is too old.”