Paul Merson is convinced failure to qualify for the will serve as a massive blow in ’s bid to sign a new striker this summer.
With Eddie Nketiah and entering the final weeks of their contracts, the Gunners will be without a senior centre forward in the squad.
A new option up front is a priority for Mikel Arteta during the summer transfer window with the club having already spoken to the representatives of star Gabriel Jesus over a move to north London.
But those plans could be disrupted should Arsenal miss out on a top four finish.
Heading into the final day of the season on Sunday, Arteta’s side realistically need to beat Everton and hope arch-rivals Tottenham to lose against already relegated Norwich.
In addition to Jesus, Arsenal have also been linked with Benfica star Darwin Nunez and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
But Merson believes the England striker would be the only big name interested in a move to the Emirates without the incentive of Champions League football on offer.
He wrote for : ‘They go to Newcastle. They get blown away. After a 2-0 loss with so much on the line you have to start asking serious questions in my opinion. From top to bottom.
‘And honestly, if Newcastle can play like that against one of the contenders for the top four, who knows what they might be capable of next season. They will have money to spend. Arsenal will have to buy too. But who are they going to get if they’re not in the Champions League?
‘Dominic Calvert-Lewin would still go there. But who else?
‘Which game-changing world class is going to sign for Arsenal without Champions League football?
‘That’s the worry. It was in their hands and they went to Spurs and threw it away. Now it’s in Tottenham’s hands – and if they finish the job it’s going to be very hard to swallow for Arsenal.’
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