Morgan Schneiderlin
The Gunners have been urged to make Schneiderlin their number 1 priority during the summerGetty Images

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin could be the perfect start to Arsenal's deluge of summer spending, according to ex-Gunner Ray Parlour.

Schneiderlin began the season under a cloud after he attempted to force through a move last summer to Tottenham Hotspur, but the France international has gone on to star for a Saints side who have made a surprising challenge for a Champions League spot.

Arsenal's exit from the Champions League on away goals to Monaco has sparked talks over their plans for next season and Parlour believes Schneiderlin, who has been linked with a £15m move to North London, is a key component to any future strategy.

"Arsenal need to get Morgan Schneiderlin if he's available in the summer," Parlour told talkSPORT. "He would be perfect. He's a little bit like Gilberto Silva when he was at Arsenal.

"He can sit back into the back four and, when it's wide, he can be another centre-half. That's so good if you can do that. He's so comfortable on the ball and someone like him would be a great addition."

Parlour, who made over 400 appearances across 17 years as a professional, added: "There has to be big investment at Arsenal this summer.

"The Premier League is more important than the Champions League. In Europe, sometimes, you need a bit of luck along the way but the league doesn't lie. The most consistent team always win it; that's what they've got to look at.

"They need to be challenging Chelsea and Man City, along with Liverpool and Manchester United next season."

Eight wins from Arsenal's last nine league games has seen Arsene Wenger's side climb into the top three just a point behind champions Manchester City and seemingly on course to secure a place in next season's Champions League.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted Arsenal are back in the race for the title despite being seven points adrift of the league leaders while the club face Championship side Reading for a place in the FA Cup final.