Paul Merson: Arsenal need these two players to finish in top four

The Arsenal legend backs the Gunners to finish ahead of Liverpool and Totteham in top four if Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez stay

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Arsenal will finish in the top four ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham if Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez remain at the north London club beyond the January transfer window, Paul Merson has claimed.

The Gunners have been in decent form over the past couple of weeks following successive victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley.

Arsenal were brilliant in a 2-0 win over Spurs in the north London derby at The Emirates last month thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Sanchez.

Ozil was named man of the match in the bitter clash in the English capital before Sanchez scored a winner from the penalty spot in Arsenal’s dramatic 1-0 win against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Both Ozil and Sanchez have entered the final 12 months of their respective contracts to prompt talk of the duo leaving next month to avoid losing the pair for nothing next summer.

Sanchez has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in the January transfer window, while Manchester United are rumoured to be interested in Ozil.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes the Gunners will get a top-four place if Ozil and Sanchez stay at The Emirates.

“I think Tottenham could miss out on the Champions League, they need to be careful. I think Arsenal will make the top four, but only if Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both stay in January,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“But if they do not, then that top-four order will change again as I would not give them a hope of making the top four.

“I am not saying Arsenal are a better team than the others [Spurs and Liverpool], I am just saying I think the others will lose focus the way it is going.”

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a place in the Champions League.

Liverpool managed to beat Arsenal to fourth place, while Spurs finished as runners-up behind eventual champions Chelsea.

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