Former Arsenal player and Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson, has urged the Gunners to sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku this summer. The Belgian striker has been in sensational form for Inter this season, scoring 24 goals in 35 Serie A appearances to guide the Nerazzurri to their first Scudetto in 11 years.
Merson believes that Lukaku would be a perfect fit for Arsenal, who have struggled for goals this season despite having some talented attacking players in their ranks. The Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League, scoring just 55 goals in 38 matches, and Merson thinks that Lukaku’s physicality and goal-scoring prowess would make a big difference to their fortunes next season.
“Lukaku, for me, would walk into Arsenal‘s team,” Merson said on Sky Sports. “I don’t care who you are, if you put Lukaku in that Arsenal team, he’ll score goals for fun. He’s a serious player, he’s a top, top player.”
Merson believes that Lukaku’s style of play would suit Arsenal‘s attacking philosophy, which is based on fast, fluid football and quick, incisive passing. He also thinks that Lukaku’s physicality and strength would give Arsenal an added dimension in attack, allowing them to play a more direct style of football and pose a greater threat from set pieces.
“He’s quick, he’s strong, he can hold the ball up, he can run in behind, he’s got a great shot, he can score goals from all angles,” Merson added. “He’s got everything you want in a centre-forward. He’s also a team player, he works hard for the team, he tracks back, he does all the dirty work as well.”
While Arsenal fans may welcome the idea of signing a player of Lukaku’s quality, the reality is that it may be difficult for them to persuade Inter Milan to sell their star striker. Lukaku is under contract at the San Siro until 2024, and Inter are likely to demand a significant transfer fee for his services.
Nevertheless, Merson’s comments highlight the need for Arsenal to strengthen their attacking options this summer if they are to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea next season. With Alexandre Lacazette’s contract set to expire at the end of next season and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having an underwhelming campaign, Arsenal will need to find a way to add more firepower to their ranks if they are to challenge for a top-four spot in the Premier League.