Paul Merson makes claim about Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal

Paul Merson discusses Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil's situations at Arsenal

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson Photo: Sky Sports

Neither Henrikh Mkhitaryan nor Mesut Ozil fit into Unai Emery’s desired system at Arsenal, according to Paul Merson.

The Gunners are currently getting used to life under new boss Emery after he was brought in as the club’s new manager at the end of last season following Arsene Wenger’s decision to step down.

Both players have featured in Arsenal’s opening games of the new campaign but they were unable to prevent the north London side from slipping to back to back defeats by Chelsea FC and Manchester City.

Emery is currently getting to grips with his new squad as he looks to build a team capable of at least challenging for a top-four finish in the Premier League this term.

Both Ozil and Mkhitaryan have come in for their fair share of criticism for their performances in recent months.

And former Arsenal star Merson feels that neither of them would be Emery’s first choice for his system at The Emirates.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “He hasn’t got the players to have a 20-yard gap between defence and attack, working hard. Ozil and Mkhitaryan are not those type of players.

“If you were building a team tomorrow, you’d want to play a high pressing game, work as a team, not to have gaps between the lines, and you’re not buying Ozil and Mkhitaryan.

“If you go the Arsene Wenger way, wanting to play entertaining, free-flowing, great football, then Ozil and Mkhitaryan will walk in any team in the world. But they will not get in teams that want to press!

“I don’t know if the current crop have gone past being able to learn that way of playing. That’s my concern. I don’t mean regarding their age, but in the way they play the game.

“Ozil’s future? I don’t know. I’m a big fan of him, he’s a quality player, but sometimes you watch him and the game passes him by.”

Arsenal will be aiming to challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners return to top flight action on Saturday when they host West Ham United at The Emirates.

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