Per Mertesacker [Getty]
Former Manchester United right-back Paul Parker is convinced the Gunners won’t win the Premier League title until they get rid of German World Cup winner Per Mertesacker.
The 56-year-old, who believes Arsenal should sign Columbian striker Jackson Martinez, doesn’t think Mertesacker should be in Arsene Wenger’s defence – saying the Germany international ‘isn't comfortable on the ball and looks uneasy under pressure’.
"I don't think you can win the title if Per Mertesacker is in your starting XI,” the former England defender said in his Eurosport blog.
"With or without the ball, he is a liability.
"Mertesacker isn't comfortable on the ball and looks uneasy under pressure when he has to move it quickly.
Paul Parker [Image Source: PremierLeague.com]
"Defensively we've seen how many times people get in front of him at the near post; when he gets caught out he has no chance of recovery.
"You're are asking a lot, for a team who wants to have a lot of possession, to have to rely on someone who doesn't have a lot of pace. His positional sense is quite poor as well."
Parker - who played for Fulham, QPR and Manchester United – also doesn’t believe in Laurent Koscielny, but would take the French defender over Mertesacker.
"He makes a few errors, he gives away a lot of penalties and gets booked for rash challenges,” he added.
"I'm not sure about Arsenal centrally at all but if you are going to replace one then it has to be Mertesacker.
"We don't know enough about Gabriel just yet, so a new signing is essential if Arsenal are to address probably their biggest weakness.
"I wouldn't like to pick a name out of the air - there's a different one in the papers every day - and no one sticks out right now.
"But if you play at centre-half for Arsenal, you have to be good on the ball."