Paul Merson tells Liverpool to sign Aaron Ramsey and blasts ‘pathetic’ Arsenal

Liverpool should sign Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal, says Paul Merson (Picture: Rex Features)Paul Merson has told Liverpool to sign Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey to boost their hopes of winning a Premier League title.

Ramsey will leave the Emirates next summer after Arsenal informed the Wales international he would not be offered a new contract.

The 27-year-old has won three FA Cup trophies in his ten-year spell at Arsenal but is set to move on, with a number of clubs interested in securing his services.

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Liverpool are not currently believed to be in the running to sign Ramsey, but Merson says he can help Jurgen Klopp win the Premier League.

And the Arsenal legend has branded his former club ‘pathetic’ for the way they have handled Ramsey’s contract situation.

‘Arsenal are pathetic for the way they’ve treated Aaron Ramsey – and he could be playing for Liverpool soon instead of against them,’ Merson told the Daily Star.

‘I don’t understand what my old club are doing. How can you let a player that good run down his contract like this? It’s a nonsense.

Klopp has been urged to sign Ramsey (Picture: Getty)‘It makes no financial sense to lose him on a free so they might as well sell him for whatever they can get now in January.

‘If Liverpool want him they might as well do a deal now. He would fit in there and he would help them challenge for the title.

‘Manchester City are a much stronger, deeper team than Liverpool at the moment, but Ramsey could help change that.’

Since being signed by Arsene Wenger from Cardiff City in 2008, Ramsey has developed into an influential figure at the Emirates.

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His influence has waned somewhat under new manager Unai Emery, but Merson still believes Arsenal have made a mistake.

He added: ‘Whoever gets him will be getting a very good player. He makes good runs, scores goals, and has the vision to pick a pass.

‘He’s a proven player and because of his contract you could get him on the cheap while it will could cost Arsenal around £40m to replace him.

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‘Maybe Unai Emery has someone else in the pipeline he knows can replace Ramsey, or maybe he thinks he can get a better player on less wages.

‘But it just seems strange. It makes no financial sense and I cannot believe what they have done letting it get this far.’

Ramsey will be hoping to help Arsenal continue their impressive run against Liverpool on Saturday afternon.

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Paul Merson rips into Arsenal’s defence and says Liverpool will expose Unai Emery’s team

Unai Emery’s Arsenal face Liverpool this weekend (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson has slammed Arsenal’s defence and says Liverpool will expose Unai Emery’s team this weekend.

The Gunners welcome Liverpool to the Emirates on Saturday having won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions.

Arsenal’s 11-game winning streak was ended by Crystal Palace last weekend and Merson thinks Liverpool will outclass his former club.

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Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are joint-top of the Premier League having only dropped four points from their first ten games of the new campaign.

And Merson said: ‘I can’t see anything but a Liverpool win. I think this is the day Arsenal show some big cracks.

‘I just think the defence is terrible, all over the place, and no different to what it was before.

Liverpool have made a fine start to the new season (Picture: Reuters)‘If Hector Bellerin is injured, you’re talking about Granit Xhaka at left-back, a central midfield player, and Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back, who has been a good player but is nearly 35 now.

‘How many 35-year-old’s are there in the Premier League?’

Merson added to Sky Sports: ‘We saw Leicester rip Arsenal to shreds for 30 minutes; they scored, Harry Maguire missed a sitter, they had a stonewall penalty turned down.

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‘Leicester’s front three aren’t even in the same class as Liverpool’s. I just cannot see how Arsenal will live with them.

‘People will say: ‘Oh Arsenal will score goals…’ but Liverpool’s defence has been superb

‘I watched Arsenal win 11 games on the trot, and they could have easily lost four of them, let alone drawn them.’

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Paul Merson and Phil Thompson expect Manchester United and Arsenal to miss out on the Premier League top four this season

Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea are in a battle to finish in the top four of the Premier League (Pictures: Getty)Paul Merson and Phil Thompson expect Manchester United and Arsenal to miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

After ten games of the new campaign, reigning champions Manchester City are joined by Liverpool at the top of the table, with both clubs yet to lose.

Chelsea are also unbeaten under new manager Maurizio Sarri, currently sitting two points off the top.

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Arsenal won 11 straight games before Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace to impress domestically and in Europe, while Tottenham had also made their best start to a season before losing to Man City on Monday.

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, meanwhile, are down in eighth having only won half of their Premier League fixtures.

Merson and Thompson both expect City to defend the title this season and reckon United and Arsenal will be the two members of the big six to miss out on a top-four finish.

Former Arsenal and England forward Merson told Sky Sports: ‘Manchester City are just a bit too good for Liverpool, and Chelsea are very reliant on Hazard.

Paul Merson and Phil Thompson expect Manchester City to win the league (Picture: Getty)‘Tottenham might not have signed anyone in the summer, but they’ve only got to get into the top four and before Monday night it was their best start to a season.

‘Arsenal have too much to do to bridge the gap, their defence is still the same as it was under Arsene Wenger in terms of giving away chances.

‘And Manchester United are dropping too many points and not looking convincing at the minute.’

Paul Merson’s top six prediction

1. Manchester City2. Liverpool3. Chelsea4. Tottenham5. Manchester United6. Arsenal

Former Liverpool defender Thompson added: ‘City still look just too strong for the rest, although Liverpool do have a chance.

‘But they’ll have to do everything right to get the better of them over the course of a season.

‘Chelsea have impressed me so far and with Hazard they can take third.’

Phil Thompson’s top six prediction

1. Manchester City2. Liverpool3. Chelsea4. Tottenham5. Arsenal6. Manchester United

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Unai Emery warned Arsenal will be ‘ripped to shreds’ by Liverpool

Unai Emery’s Arsenal have won their last ten games (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson has sent Unai Emery a warning over Arsenal’s recent run and says the Gunners will be ‘ripped to shreds’ by Liverpool.

The Gunners have won ten games in a row in all competitions to climb to fourth in the Premier League.

They are also in control of their Europa League group and can pull clear at the top of the table when they face Sporting CP on Thursday evening.

But Arsenal hero Merson is not getting carried away by his former club’s run and says he will still be amazed if they finish in the top four.

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He told talkSPORT: ‘They haven’t played anybody yet! If they finish in the top four they’ve pulled up trees.

‘They’ve done well to win ten games on the trot, don’t get me wrong.

‘But when they come up against Tottenham and Liverpool, and especially Liverpool at the Emirates, I would be shocked if Liverpool didn’t win by three clear goals.

‘They will rip Arsenal to shreds.

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‘I’m scratching my head, because Arsenal have won ten games in a row and in half of those games they could have been behind by so many in the first half.

‘But when they get going in the second half, when everything is rolling, then they’re the Harlem Globetrotters.

‘I mean look at Mesut Ozil, he was phenomenal. If he played like that every week, he’d be the best player in the world.

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‘So no, I can’t buy into it. I think they’ve been very, very fortunate.

‘They haven’t played anybody yet, and you can’t play like this against teams like Liverpool.’

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Phil Thompson and Paul Merson disagree on who will win the Champions League final

‘First off, in high-profile games – and it doesn’t come any more high profile than this – we seem to turn up big-time,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I class Real Madrid as a similar side to Manchester City in terms of not knowing how to park the bus, so it will be an open game, and I would like to think we can take advantage of that.

‘You can suggest that both sides’ defences aren’t the best, but I think ours is a little better now, especially in the full-back areas. I know that they have the big names, but I think ours are more capable defensively.

‘Sergio Ramos has had his critics and, while he is a warrior and a winner, he is also slow and only getting slower, which is why he gets so many yellow and red cards and plays into the hands of our pacy forward line.’

Paul Merson believes Real Madrid will SACK Zinedine Zidane if Liverpool win Champions League

Will Zidane lose his job? (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson is convinced Zinedine Zidane will be sacked by Real Madrid if Liverpool secure victory on Saturday night in the Champions League final in Kiev.

The former Arsenal and Aston Villa playmaker believes the French World Cup winner is hanging on by the skin of his teeth at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite guiding them to back-to-back Champions League wins in his first two seasons in charge.

However, while they’ve reached the final once more in 2018, their domestic form has been disappointing – finishing 17 points behind La Liga winners Barcelona.

And Merson thinks that failure to deliver the Champions League trophy would be the end of the road for Zidane.

‘Jurgen Klopp could get Zinedine Zidane the sack tonight because he is the better manager,’ Merson told the Daily Star.

Will Klopp get Zidane sacked? (Picture: Getty)‘I know Zidane has won two Champions League titles in a row but he has had world class players to work with.

‘You should be judged on what you do in your domestic league when you’re a manager and Real Madrid are so far behind Barcelona now it’s ridiculous.

‘Barcelona are not even that good – but Real have only won the league once since Zidane took over and this season they only finished a very distant third.

‘He’s been getting out of jail by winning the Champions League. But competitions like that are a bonus. The league is your bread and butter.

‘You can’t judge a manager in a knockout competition because you need a bit of luck and a good draw to win them.

‘Zidane could win three in a row and that would be an amazing achievement. But if he loses the final I would be shocked if he keeps his job because they are miles behind Barcelona.’

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Arsenal legend Paul Merson hails Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold as his ‘unsung hero of the season’

Trent Alexander- Arnold has developed into a first-team regular for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson has named Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold as his ‘unsung hero of the season’.

Having made his first-team debut for the Reds last season, Alexander-Arnold has emerged as a key player for Jurgen Klopp this term.

The 19-year-old has made over 30 appearances in all competitions, playing a huge role in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final.

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While Merson believes this summer’s World Cup will ‘come a bit too soon for him’, the Arsenal legend is adamant Alexander-Arnold is an England player of the future.

‘He is my unsung hero of the season because he’s come from nowhere at Liverpool and been very impressive,’ Merson told the Daily Star.

‘He’s sneaked under the radar a little bit at times but I think he deserves more credit. He’s a young lad playing for a big club where you’re always under pressure.

The 19-year-old has starred in this year’s Champions League (Picture: Getty)‘But he’s handled it so, so well. Yes, he’s made mistakes but he’s always bounced back and to be the best player on the pitch in a Champions League semi-final is phenomenal.

‘He never hides, and while the World Cup will come a bit too soon for him, he’s an England player for the future all day long.’

Merson, who earned 21 caps for England, added: ‘He’s got many a World Cup in him if he keeps doing what he’s doing. Liverpool have found a real gem.

‘They just need to look after him because he’ll be under the microscope a lot as a homegrown youngster.

Former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson (Picture: Getty)‘Sometimes you get more criticism when you do something wrong if you’re in that position, but I think he can go on to have a great career if he keeps his feet on the ground.’

Klopp has been equally as impressed by Alexander-Arnold’s contributions this season and says Gareth Southgate should take him to Russia for the World Cup.

‘I am a fan of Trent,’ Klopp said this week. ‘That’s why he plays very often, and because he plays on a high level.

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‘He’s developed over the past year. Mentally he didn’t have to improve but physically he did.

‘I’m not Gareth Southgate, but if he needed a player who can play right-back and maybe other positions too, I think he would be a good choice. If Gareth needs him, he’d be ready.’

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Steven Gerrard took Rangers job because he felt unloved by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, claims Paul Merson

Steven Gerrard has left his role at Liverpool to join Rangers (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson believes the ‘main reason’ Steven Gerrard took the Rangers job was because he felt ‘unloved’ at Liverpool.

Rangers confirmed Gerrard had become their new manager on Friday – he has signed a four-year deal and has named former Reds star Gary McAllister as his assistant.

Gerrard, who played over 700 games for Liverpool and helped the club win the Champions League, had spent the last year working with the academy.

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And Merson believes he would have stayed at Anfield if Jurgen Klopp made him his number two.

Klopp’s current assistant, Zeljko Buvac, left his role last week and is being strongly linked with a move to Arsenal as the Gunners search for Arsene Wenger’s replacement.

‘Steven Gerrard is only taking the Rangers job because he doesn’t feel loved at Liverpool,’ former Arsenal and England star Merson told the Daily Star.

‘If Zeljko Buvac isn’t coming back, why haven’t they offered him the No 2 job? I think they should have done. He’s a legend at Anfield.

‘The Rangers job is massive. They are a huge club and once you’ve decided you want to leave Liverpool and go into management, it’s too good to turn down really.

‘But if Steven Gerrard had been offered a job on Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff there is no way he leaves Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp should have made Gerrard his assistant, according to Paul Merson (Picture: Getty)‘That’s the main reason he’s going to Scotland. He doesn’t feel wanted.’

After being unveiled as the new Rangers manager on Friday, Gerrard said: ‘I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition.

‘I can’t wait to start this new journey at Rangers as we look to build on the many successes that this club has achieved.’

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Rangers chairman, Dave King, meanwhile, added: ‘From the very beginning, talks have been extremely positive and we believe that Steven is the right man to drive Rangers forward.

‘He was extremely impressive throughout our negotiations and we are convinced that he has the necessary knowledge and temperament to lead the club to the success we all desire.

‘This a special day for our club, our fans and for Steven.’

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Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas disagree on who should replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

Arsenal are searching for Arsene Wenger’s successor (Picture: Getty)Arsenal legends Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas have revealed who they believe should take over from Arsene Wenger at the end of the season.

It was confirmed earlier in the month that Wenger, 68, would not see out his contract at the Emirates.

The experienced Frenchman spent over two decades in charge of Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.

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But Wenger’s position has been the subject of intense speculation for a number of years and he says it is the right time to leave.

The announcement has sparked debate as to who will replace Wenger at Arsenal and Merson and Nicholas have revealed their picks to Sky Sports.

Paul Merson:

‘I would like Rodgers to succeed Arsene. I like him, the way he plays football. Liverpool nearly won the league under him which they hadn’t done for some time before and haven’t since.

‘People say he had Luis Suarez but you’ve still got to get a tune out of him. He’s got experience of managing big sides as well. There’s a lot of pressure at Celtic and he knows the Premier League well.

‘Luis Enrique is the other one, with experience and style of football, but they need to move quickly if they want him because Chelsea might be after him soon.

‘The big thing for me is longevity. They need to get somebody in who is going to be there for five years because they don’t want a similar situation to Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson left.’

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is a contender (Picture: Getty)

As is Max Allegri, the current Juventus manager (Picture: Getty)

Charlie Nicholas:

‘I’m still of the mind that Rodgers and Ronald Koeman fit the criteria. I don’t think either of them will get it though and I’m swaying towards Allegri now.

‘Some people suggest it has to be somebody with a link to the club, such as Mikel Arteta or Patrick Vieira, but Wenger didn’t have one when he arrived.

‘I’ve got a feeling they’re trying to get a Spanish or German influence running stronger through the club but I feel that the favourite should be Allegri.

‘His reputation is strong and his Juventus side play a nice way with an organised defensive shape.’

Wenger made his last trip to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager on Sunday as the Gunners were undone by Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time winner.

Before the Premier League fixture, he was presented with a silver vase by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

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‘It was very nice and classy. I enjoyed it,’ Wenger said. ‘I have come here for a long, long time.

‘Next year, someone else will be in the dug-out and it will be a hostile environment again.’

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Paul Merson would be ‘shocked’ if Arsenal did not appoint Brendan Rodgers as Arsene Wenger’s replacement

Arsene Wenger is under immense scrutiny at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson would be ‘shocked’ if Arsenal did not appoint Brendan Rodgers as Arsene Wenger’s replacement.

Wenger, 68, is widely expected to leave the Emirates this summer after spending over two decades in charge of the Gunners.

Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League last year and will also finish outside of the top four this season, having slipped 12 points below Liverpool in fourth.

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The north London outfit also suffered an emphatic defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at the end of last month, although they could still save their campaign in the Europa League.

A number of names have been raised as potential replacements for Wenger but Merson believes Celtic boss Rodgers is the stand-out choice.

‘I don’t know why he doesn’t get the Arsenal job,’ Merson said of Rodgers on Sky Sports. ‘He fits Arsenal great.

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‘The nearest Liverpool have ever come to winning the league for a long long time is when Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

‘He’s done nothing wrong at Celtic. To do what they’ve done… people can say it’s Scottish football and Celtic are head and shoulders above, but every team they played on that run treated it like a cup final, which is difficult sometimes – especially when you’re Celtic and know you’re better than everybody else.

‘I think he [Rodgers] now needs a change and needs to come back down. I’ll be shocked if he didn’t get a good job, I’d be quite shocked if he didn’t get the Arsenal job.’

Brendan Rodgers should be Arsenal’s next manager, says Paul Merson (Picture: Getty)Since taking over at Celtic in 2016, former Liverpool boss Rodgers has won the Scottish Premiership and three cup trophies.

The club are set to win another domestic title this season and Rodgers said he is ‘loving life’ in Scotland when asked about the links with Arsenal.

‘Arsenal is a great club with a great manager,’ he said. ‘People will look at it and see that I went to Liverpool, they were struggling for five seasons for Champions League football and I was able to get them back.

‘When I came to Celtic, they hadn’t been in the Champions
League for three seasons and I got them back.

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‘So maybe people are thinking – okay, Arsenal have been out of the Champions League and that is maybe the equation for someone like myself.

‘However, I’m loving my life up here. I’m not going to be here forever but I’m living in a dream – although dreams always come to an end at some point.

‘I’m always relaxed about speculation and whatnot but my focus is only on Celtic.’

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