October 7, 2022

A lack of squad depth could be the issue that holds back Arsenal this season, fears Paul Merson.

The former Gunners star is a big fan of the attack that led the line against Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener as Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka impressed.

Beyond that, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira have struggled for fitness of late and there are form issues over the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson.

Mikel Arteta could still solve the issue in the final weeks of the transfer window as Youri Tielemans, Lucas Paqueta and Yeremy Pino have all emerged as targets.

“The front four look lively for Arsenal,” Merson wrote for Sportskeeda.

“They’ve got everything between them and if they stay fit, Arsenal are going to have a good Premier League season. If one of them gets injured, however, they’re in trouble.”

Leicester are next up for Arsenal as they kick off their home league campaign – and Merson predicts a 3-0 win for the Gunners.

“I’m worried for Leicester this season,” he added. “There’s too much going on at the club. [James] Maddison and [Wesley] Fofana have their heads turned at the moment, and Kasper Schmeichel’s departure is a massive loss for the team.

“They blew a 2-0 lead against Brentford and might lose quite a few players in the transfer market this month. I don’t see how they can keep a clean sheet this weekend.

“I thought Arsenal were outstanding in their first 20 minutes against Crystal Palace. I was very impressed by them at times last week, and I think they should be able to win this game easily.”

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