Merson urges Arsenal to ‘break to bank’ for £68m Auba replacement

Paul Merson has urged Arsenal to “break the bank” to bring in Florentina striker Dusan Vlahovic as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is “finished”.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with the Florentina star of late. He is said to be rated at around £68m by the Serie A side. 

The 21-year-old has been in superb form for Florentina. He scored 21 goals in the league last season.

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His performances have stepped up this term as he has already netted 18 times from his 20 games across all competitions.

Aubameyang meanwhile has been cast aside at Arsenal. The forward was stripped of the captain’s armband last month as a result of a “disciplinary breach”.  He has not played for the Gunners since December 6.

Merson believes Vlahovic should be offered a “lorryload of money” as he would help to turn Arsenal into title contenders:

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is finished at Arsenal. He won’t be coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations,” Merson wrote for The Daily Star.

“They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders.

“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.

“Arsenal would be able to play him every week because Aubameyang will be gone. Alexandre Lacazette will probably be gone. And so will Eddie Nketiah.

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

“I think there are good things happening at Arsenal. Mikel Arteta has got them playing well. But they need a proven striker next season.

“He’s signed a keeper, defenders, full backs, midfielders and a No 10, promoted kids on the wings – a proper centre forward could be the missing piece.

“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.”

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