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Arsenal backed to compete for Premier League title if they sign one player

Mikel Arteta - Arsenal
© Arsenal FC

The Gunners have improved this season and currently hold a top-four spot, but can they do better?

Signing Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic could make Arsenal a Premier League title contender for next season, according to Paul Merson.

The 21-year-old Serbian has 18 months left on his contract, meaning he’ll be able to leave Fiorentina as a free agent in 2023 if he leaves the Italian club.

Vlahovic doesn’t have any shortage of suitors either following his goal-laden exploits in Italy. Arsenal are one of several clubs across Europe interested. However, it’s understood the striker isn’t sold  on the idea of joining a Premier League side that is not in the Champions League.

‘A proper center-forward could be the missing piece’

But Merson thinks that Vlahovic’s stance could change in the blink of an eye if Mikel Arteta’s side seal a top-four Premier League finish and offer a ‘lorryload of money’.

“They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders,” former Arsenal midfielder Merson wrote in his Daily Star column.

“I’ve heard he’s not interested in Arsenal right now, and I can understand that. But he might change his mind if they finish in the top four and offer him a lorryload of money.”

Signing a new striker will be a priority for the Gunners in the summer. The exiled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future currently hangs in the balance, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah will be out of contract.

“Arsenal would be able to play him every week because [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang will be gone. Alexandre Lacazette will probably be gone. And so will Eddie Nketiah,” Merson continued.

“They will need a goalscorer, and Vlahovic scores goals. He’s also still young so he should get better and you’re not wasting money paying a 29-year-old on the way down.”

He added: “I’m not saying they’ll win the league if they get Vlahovic. But they’ll have a chance to make it a four-horse race at least.”

Arsenal, who last won the Premier League in the 2003/04 season, return to action on Sunday away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.