Merson: Man Utd, Arsenal should’ve signed ‘phenomenal’ Chelsea man

Date published: Saturday 4th September 2021 3:51 - Joe Williams

Paul Merson during a photoshoot

Paul Merson thinks Manchester United and Arsenal should’ve tried to beat Chelsea to the signing of Saul Niguez.

The Gunners brought in Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht and renewed Granit Xhaka’s contract, while the Red Devils didn’t bring in a midfield signing this summer.

Chelsea already have N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic – who helped them to Champions League glory last season – in their midfield and they improved further with a loan move for Atletico Madrid’s Saul.


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And Merson thinks the “difference in class is enormous” between Chelsea’s midfield and that of Arsenal and Manchester United’s.

“Chelsea now have a midfield dreams are made of after getting Saul Niguez on deadline day,” Merson told the Daily Star.

“What a phenomenal signing that is. He’s in his prime. He’s just won La Liga. He plays in all the big games. And you get him on loan. That’s amazing.

“He’s only going to cost £30m if they make it permanent as well. Where do you ever find players like that for that kind of money? Amazing.

“Chelsea already have three great midfielders in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. He’s the fourth. And they are going to need him. They are going deep in every competition this season. They need players.

“I don’t know why teams like Manchester United and Arsenal didn’t go in for him. Look at their midfields. United have Paul Pogba but he can’t play in a two and then it’s Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic.

“And Arsenal ended up handing a new contract to Granit Xhaka… The difference in class is enormous.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal technical director Edu has defended his transfer policy this summer, insisting the squad needed strengthening as well as the starting XI.

Edu said on Sky Sports: “We suffered last year because we lost a lot of players and we didn’t really have good back-ups to play games.

“I believe we need a squad to win games. We need a squad to be in a good position at the end of the season because it is not only about the first XI. We need a foundation.

“Of course, it has hurt us to be in that situation. We are hurt, I am hurt. I don’t want to see the club there, but I want to see the team playing together. Let’s judge the team when they play together.

“Why are a few clubs around the Premier League just signing one or two players? It’s because they already have the foundation. They already have the team prepared. I’m sorry, but the reality is we don’t.”

 

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