Arsenal advised to sign top-drawer midfielder instead of Youri Tielemans by Paul Merson

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Arsenal have been advised to ditch their attempts to sign Youri Tielemans this summer in favour of a “really top-drawer player”. The Gunners have been linked with the Leicester midfielder as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his ranks.

Paul Merson has told Arsenal to give up on signing Belgian playmaker Tielemans and instead focus on landing Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian looks set to leave the Serie A side this summer.

And former Gunners favourite reckons he is the best the Italian league has to offer in the middle of the park. Merson admits that Tielemans isn’t a bad buy considering his Premier League experience.

But insists if Arsenal are looking for the highest quality of player they can manage, they should swoop for Milinkovic-Savic instead.

He told the Daily Star: “Youri Tielemans would fit nicely at Arsenal if James Ward-Prowse takes the soft option and stays at Southampton.

“I start to worry when that happens when a player plays it safe like that. What are you going to do, realistically, at Southampton? West Ham wanted Ward-Prowse and that would have been a good move for him too because they will finish above Saints.

“But I said before that Arsenal should have gone in for him. The thing is, if he’s staying at Southampton, maybe he doesn’t have the ambition? Leicester’s Tielemans would tick the box for Arsenal. He’d be a decent alternative. But Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is the player I would go for.

“If Arsenal get either of those two, they have had a major window. Now more than ever, Arsenal need a top-class midfielder to compete with the best. And I think Savic is a lovely player. A really top-drawer player. The way he played for Lazio last season I personally think he is the best midfield player in Italy.

“I know Manchester United have been linked with him in the past, but why there isn’t a queue of clubs lining up to buy the Serbian, I do not know. I think a lot of clubs are missing a trick. The thing with Tielemans is that he plays in the Premier League. He already has the know-how. He’s proven. And Arsenal don’t have time for bedding players in.”

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