Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has unleashed a scathing attack on manager Arsene Wenger and the club's transfer policy, suggesting the French boss does not care about new signings.
The 68-year-old is coming under increasing pressure at The Emirates Stadium amid a five-match winless run and the imminent departure of Alexis Sanchez, who is expected to join Manchester United during the January transfer window.
Sanchez's departure will only be triggered by Arsenal reaching an agreement to sign a replacement, with a host of names across Europe linked with filling the void at the Emirates Stadium.
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has reportedly agreed personal terms with the Gunners, Bordeaux forward Malcom and Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez have all been strongly linked with a move to North London.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is another could join Arsenal as part of the deal that takes Sanchez to Old Trafford, after agent Mino Raiola confirmed the two moves are linked – yet the club appear no closer to an agreement to replace the Chile international.
And according to Merson, who made 327 appearances for Arsenal between 1985 and 1997, Wenger has no desire to sign a player for the short-term given the length of his contract. He also does not expect Brazilian Malcom to arrive this month.
"If Malcom is that great then PSG would sign him, but Arsene Wenger is sorted because he doesn't have to sign a player to hit the ground running because he decides how long his contract is," he told Sky Sports of Wenger, who has 18 months to run on his current deal.
"They're going to sign somebody who most people haven't heard of for £40m, while letting one of the best players in the Premier League go."
As a result, Merson foresees Arsenal failing to finish in the Premier League's top four – which would see them miss out on qualification for the Champions League for a second consecutive campaign – and believes Chelsea may also fail to reach Europe's premier club competition.
"At the moment I'm worried about Chelsea," he added. "They're not scoring goals and they don't even look like they're going to. Michy Batshuayi looks like he's on his way out so they'll be down to one striker and Alvaro Morata is only going to get more tired as the season goes on.
"The million-dollar question is where Alexis Sanchez goes. If he goes to Chelsea they finish in the top four, no doubt. Manchester United are second for me based on them being favourites to sign Sanchez, which would make them a shoe in.
"The only two things I can be sure of is Manchester City finishing first and in sixth will be Arsenal, who are nowhere near good enough and are going to lose their best player."