Paul Merson believes deadline-day signings David Luiz and Kieran Tierney can help Arsenal break back into the top four of the Premier League.
The Gunners suffered a dismal run of form towards the end of the 2018-19 campaign to slip out of the top four and then lost to Chelsea in the Europa League final.
Unai Emery was desperate to bolster his squad this summer and Arsenal secured deals for Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli, Tierney and Luiz.
Tierney and Luiz arrived from Celtic and Chelsea respectively on transfer deadline day and Merson says the pair can help Arsenal secure a top-four finish.
The Arsenal hero told Star Sport: ‘David Luiz is not the answer to Arsenal’s defensive problems but he might be enough to get them back in the Champions League. ‘I say that not because he makes my old club much stronger but because he makes Chelsea so much weaker.
‘I think they are already right up against it after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid because they relied on him immensely last season.
‘They’re back in the Champions League but they haven’t really been able to add players because of the transfer embargo.
‘Hazard has gone, and now Luiz has gone as well, and that leaves Frank Lampard short of centre backs because Antonio Rudiger is injured.
‘We don’t know if the young players they have there are ready yet, so I think Frank is up against right it away.
‘And if Chelsea lose at Manchester United this weekend the pressure will already be on him and it might not end well.
‘I think he’s going to find it hard. I hope he makes a success of it but with that squad, I’m not sure. You’re taking away one of the best players in the world in Hazard.
‘Frank will be expected to finish in the top four – but I reckon Arsenal might just sneak that last place.
‘Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham will be the top three. They are streets ahead of the rest. But I’m not sure about United and Chelsea. If Arsenal find some consistency, it’s theirs to take.’
Brazilian defender Luiz played almost 250 games for Chelsea in two stints at Stamford Bridge and Merson sees the benefits of his move to Arsenal.
He added: ‘I’d be shocked if Luiz majorly improves their defending. But he will make them entertaining. He will make mistakes.
‘But he also has a sweet diagonal ball in him, and he can pick a pass when he wants to. It ticks the boxes in some ways.
‘Luiz has plenty of experience, he’s a winner with a big personality, a leader. Arsenal don’t have those kinds of characters.
‘He can also go straight in without needing any time to adjust. He’s used to the league and the country. He won’t need a few weeks to settle.’
On Scottish full back Tierney, Merson said: ‘I think that is a great signing. And Arsenal spent a lot of money on Nicolas Pepe. I didn’t think they would do that kind of business.’