'Worrying': Paul Merson very concerned about £34 million Arsenal player now
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

'Worrying': Paul Merson very concerned about £34 million Arsenal player now

Paul Merson says Arsenal ran out of ideas against Newcastle on Tuesday night, as they did not even bring Fabio Vieira on.

Merson was a pundit on the game for Sky Sports and wrote in his Daily Star column that it was a worry that the summer signing did not even get off the bench.

That was something that Merson’s Sky colleague Gary Neville also brought up after the game, as Mikel Arteta only made one change in the 0-0 draw.

That lack of squad depth was in contrast to Manchester City at Chelsea on Thursday, when they brought on Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez around the hour mark and it only took them minutes to combine to win the game.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Merson on Fabio Vieira

He wrote: “I think Arsenal need two signings this January, they’ve got to go out and buy immediately. I watched them against Newcastle and they ran out of ideas. Don’t get me wrong, Newcastle defended really well and it was hard to break down but you’ve got to be able to change it up.

“There were no fresh legs. They paid £34million for Fabio Vieira but still didn’t put him on. For me, that was the worrying thing. I wouldn’t just say they needed fresh legs, I’d say fresh brains as well. There was no guile or differentiation.

“Even if they just swapped the wingers over for 10 minutes, Mikel Arteta seemed to be so engrossed in the game on the touchline that it quickly passed Arsenal by.

“Arsenal need to set Shakhtar Donetsk a deadline with Mykhaylo Mudryk. They’ve offered £62m and it should now be ‘take it or leave it’ otherwise the January transfer window will soon be over.”

Mudryk and Joao Felix through the door by the end of the transfer window would be an ideal January for Arsenal, but that would be hugely expensive.

That is the level of investment Arteta may need to get his side over the line ahead of City, but the example of Vieira is actually a pertinent one.

He cost £34 million, but was not ready to make an impact on Tuesday, after months of adaptation at Arsenal, so there is no guarantee that new signings can be an immediate quick fix.

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