• Mustafi has been linked with a move to the Emirates this summer.
  • Merson says Arsenal are short of options up front.

Arsenal are closing in on completing a deal in signing Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi this summer. The Gunners legend Paul Merson believes Arsene Wenger's reported efforts in bringing the centre-back to the Emirates looks like a panic buy.

The north London club are without the services of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista as the duo are sidelined due to injury. The German is set for a long spell on the sidelines and Arsenal manager is not expecting him to return until the end of this year.

In addition to this, Laurent Koscielny is not fit to face the opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool. Lack of options at the heart of the back four has seen Wenger turn his attention towards Mustafi, who was a part of the Germany squad in the Euro 2016.

Merson has claimed that the German international was not fancied by Wenger. He suggests that is the reason why the Gunners decided against completing a deal in bringing him to the Emirates after the end of the European championship.

"Why didn't they buy him when the Euros had finished, if they fancied him that much? It feels as if it is a bit of a last resort," Merson told Sky Sports.

Wenger was looking at bringing in a striker as a priority in the summer transfer window. However, injuries have forced the Frenchman to change his priority and bring in a centre-back.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez could be used as a central striker Getty

This could also mean that Alexis Sanchez would play as a main striker. Olivier Giroud is the only recognised striker available at the Emirates and Merson believes Arsenal will not win the title if they decide to go into the season with one centre forward.

"If Giroud does not play this week and Sanchez has to play up front, well, I mean Sanchez is top-drawer, there is no doubt about it, but will he win you the Premier League playing up front? No, no he won't," he said.

"I think they're still short of a top-drawer centre-forward. If Giroud gets injured, you are talking about Sanchez coming in. They are going to struggle and it's very rare a team wins anything with no more than one centre-forward."