Graeme Souness praised several of Arsenal’s players at the beginning of the season, but stated that none of the Gunners’ midfielders could get into Liverpool or Manchester City’s side.
The Sky Sports pundit delivered his verdict on Arsenal ahead of the Gunners’ clash against his former side at Anfield, a game in which Mikel Arteta’s side lost 3-1.
Despite Arsenal’s impressive progress under Arteta in recent months, Souness still believes the north Londoners are way off a serious Premier League title challenge.
“Arsenal are nowhere near challenging for the Premier League,” Souness wrote in a column for The Times.
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“They finished eighth, 43 points behind Liverpool, last season, and that’s not a gap that you close in one transfer window. The knockout tournaments are again their best chance of success this season. Trying to retain the FA Cup, a decent run in Europe and maybe the Carabao Cup.
“I’ve always been a fan of Willian and have no fears that he still has a couple of years left at the highest. The hardest players to get are the ones that score and create goals, but Arsenal have plenty of attacking options.
“Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are backed up by talented youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah. Keeping Aubameyang is a huge boost.
“He was entering the last year of his contract, so they would have sold him at a discount and received nowhere near enough to buy a replacement of a similar standard.
“I still see a player in Nicolas Pepe, too, and I’m hoping he has a big year because he’s not really grasped the intensity and physicality of the Premier League yet.
“I also like the look of Bernd Leno, their goalkeeper, but none of their midfielders or back four would get anywhere near the Manchester City or Liverpool team, hence the…