The former Gunners midfielder believes that Mikel Arteta should be looking to compete with Premier League rivals for the Dutch defender
Arsenal should be looking to join the race for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, says Paul Merson.
The versatile Netherlands international continues to generate plenty of transfer talk despite not moving on in the January transfer window.
Chelsea have a £40 million ($52m) option to take the 24-year-old back to Stamford Bridge, while Tottenham are said to be mulling over a big-money bid in the summer.
Merson believes Arsenal need to be joining their London rivals in any scramble for a sought-after signature, with there still issues for the Gunners to address at the back.
He told Sky Sports of the recruitment needs at Emirates Stadium: “They need a centre half and a world-class holding midfielder.
“I think Arsenal need to play with a back three. They’re not good enough as defenders to play as a four.
“Ake has pace and he’s played in England for a while, so if you brought him in for next season he’s not a player who will need time to get used to the league for six months.
“Arsenal need to hit the ground running [next season] and everybody needs to know their jobs in the team.”
Merson is not the first former Arsenal star to suggest that Ake should figure prominently on Mikel Arteta’s wish list.
Stewart Robson stated during the winter window that the Dutchman would be a good fit for the Gunners.
He told Love Sport Radio: “I still think Nathan Ake is good player.
“There’s talk about him going back to Chelsea because they can buy him for a certain price but he’s a very good centre-half.
“He’s not the biggest but he’s got good spring and I think he’s the type of player Arteta will like.
“He would be my choice coming in from Bournemouth.”
Ake has taken in over 100 appearances for the Cherries since first linking up with them on loan from Chelsea in the 2016-17 campaign.
He is tied to a contract at the Vitality Stadium through to the summer of 2022.