Merson urges Arsenal to sign ‘best midfielder in Italy’ as alternative to £30m Tielemans

Merson urges Arsenal to sign ‘best midfielder in Italy’ as alternative to £30m Tielemans

Paul Merson has encouraged Arsenal to sign Serie A midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as an alternative to Leicester City star Youri Tielemans.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Tielemans in recent weeks. He has been a standout player for Leicester City over the past three-and-a-half years.

The Belgium international is out of contract in 2023 and he is valued at £30m. It is understood that Arsenal are primed to make a ‘firm offer’ for him.

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Milinkovic-Savic meanwhile has consistently been linked with a move to the Premier League over the past few years.

The Serbia international scored eleven goals in 37 Serie appearances for Lazio last term. He is thought to be valued at just over £55m this summer.

Merson believes Arsenal need Milinkovic-Savic “now more than ever”:

“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,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star.

“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.”

Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement from football at the age of 30 with the Gunners set to make him their under-18s head coach.

Wilshere became the Gunners’ youngest league debutant when aged 16 and 256 days during 2008 after coming through the club’s Academy.

The midfielder, who was hampered by a series of injuries, won the FA Cup twice in successive seasons with Arsenal in 2014 and 2015, before joining Bournemouth and then West Ham.

Wilshere returned to the Cherries on a short-term deal in January 2021 and also had a spell at Danish Superliga club AGF.

After making his first senior England appearance in 2010, Wilshere won 34 caps and was part of the 2014 World Cup squad.

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