The ever opinionated former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has named the player he believes the north London club are missing this season - Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, who the Gunners sold to their London rivals in January.
After consecutive losses for the north London side in the opening two fixtures of the 2018/19 season, Unai Emery's new style of play has come in for an increased amount of criticism from fans and pundits alike, after Arsenal received back to back humblings from title favourites Manchester City and FA Cup holders Chelsea.
The pundit, who made over 300 appearances for Arsenal, was previewing the Gunners' clash with Chelsea for the Daily Star when he said: "I think Olivier Giroud will end up being the starter [for Chelsea] because he gives them more of a focal point and knows how to play as more of a target man.
"Ironically, that’s exactly what Arsenal need right now. Someone who can hold the ball up and put themselves about when it’s time to go long."
With Arsenal spending big money in the last 12 months on world renowned strikers in the forms of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gunners fans will be hoping they can call upon the two to provide the ammunition to prove the outspoken Sky Sports pundit wrong.
Today i missed tomorrow Must Be better !!— Aubameyang P-E (@Aubameyang7) August 18, 2018
Merson moved on to potentially infuriate Gooners furthermore by emphasising just how long it may take the new Arsenal boss to integrate his system and setup into the first XI.
"It’s going to take time for Emery to do anything there and they have a tough start. But they’re going to have to be very patient because it could take more than three transfer windows to get in the sort of players he needs," Merson added.
"They are well behind the rest."
Arsenal fans will now realise how Manchester United fans felt after Sir Alex Ferguson left and the transition phase at Old Trafford began. They thought their banter era finished when Wenger left, but in reality it's just begun.— R™ (@RealTalkMUFC) August 18, 2018
With the games coming thick and fast, Emery will have to make sure his side are ignoring the critics and focusing on another testing London derby next Saturday against the equally confidence devoid West Ham.