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Steven Gerrard is the man to replace Cesc Fabregas according to Arsenal legend Paul Merson

19 May 2010 17:44:25

Steven Gerrard is the man to replace Cesc Fabregas according to Arsenal legend Paul Merson

Paul Merson believes Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is the man to replace Barcelona-bound Cesc Fabregas in the heart of Arsenal's midfield. The Gunners rate Fabregas at £50million but Merson believes they should hold out for as much as they can to lure Gerrard, 29, down from Anfield. He said: 'I worry about the future of Arsenal. They don't win trophies anymore and they're selling their best players. Where are they going? Over to you: With Cesc Fabregas heading for the exit, Paul Mersonbelieves Steven Gerrard is the man to take the Spaniard's place at the Emirates 'What they need to do is sell Fabregas and take the money up to Liverpool to buy Gerrard. 'He's the man who could come in and immediately command respect and help the team win those crucial games they have been losing. Who else is there?' With rivals Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City planning to spend again this summer Arsenal are in danger of losing their foothold as one of England's top three sides. And the former Gunners winger wants Arsene Wenger to change his philosophy of buying young, untried players which he believes has left the squad lightweight and unable to compete.   He said: 'They need to buy established players who can come in, hit the ground running and win things, players like Gerrard. 'If Chelsea sold Frank Lampard they'd still challenge for the title but Arsenal won't stand a chance if they sell Fabregas. 'Five years ago they were this big, strong side. The best team to have played in the Premier League. 'And in he blink of an eye it has changed and there's all these little blokes running around saying 'ooh, please don't kick me.' Merson played under Wenger for eight months in the 1996-97 season, just as the Frenchman was beginning the revolution which would bring three league titles and four FA Cups to the red half of north London. But all of the success came in a seven-year spell after he arrived from Japanese side Grampus Eight. Enlarge Remember this? Paul Merson (right) and Alan Smith cuddle silverware - something Arsenal haven't seen in five years The success has dried up in the last five years and Merson, who made 425 appearances in an 11-year career with the Gunners thinks his former club are slipping from their perch. He said: 'I'm tired of hearing about Arsenal buying young and promising players - they need to win something now, not in three or five years. I love my club but they've become also-rans. There really isn't much to differentiate between them, Spurs and City. The club has lost that edge. 'You can toss a coin between those three to decide who's the better side.' Future team-mates? Cesc Fabregas may line up alongside Seydou Keita next season The Carling Cup has been a breeding ground for Wenger's young guns - a showcasecompetition where the reserves and youth players have traditionallybeen blooded. But Merson believes they should use the competition as a launchpad for picking up silverware and developing a winning mentality. He said: 'I saw Alex Ferguson jumping up and down on the pitch, celebrating with the fans when they won it in 2005 after a season when they didn't win anything - he was over the moon. 'United started to win stuff again, going on to pick up three titles in a row. This Arsenal team hasn't won anything, they don't know how to. 'Hardly any of them has a winners medal and it shows. They get to a certain point be it in the league or in cups and they don't know what to do.' Paul Merson is promoting lastminute.com's summer kick off campaign. Visit www.lastminute.com/worldcup for more information.  Cesc is going home to Barcelona: all that's left is for Arsenal to agree a fee Villa joins Barcelona in £34m deal with Fabregas in line to follow him Why Cesc Fabregas should avoid Barcelona and stay at Arsenal for one more season ARSENAL FC


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