By Dominic Toner

Paul Merson believes it will be a struggle for Arsenal to make the top four this season.

The Gunners have endured a frustrating 2017 so far and that was emphasised by a 3-1 defeat away to West Brom on Saturday.

The north London club are now sixth-placed in the Premier League table and have also been dumped out of the Champions League in March.

Arsene Wenger’s future at the club is still unclear and his side are in serious danger of missing out on a top four spot this campaign.

Ex-Arsenal striker Merson claims it would be a nightmare if his former side missed out on a Champions League qualifying place and feels that is in serious danger of coming true.

“If they (Arsenal) finished outside the top four it would be a nightmare but it might give him the best chance of winning the Premier League, just look at Chelsea and how well they’ve done without Champions League football,” Merson told Sky Sports. “They’ve got a big game next week against Manchester City and suddenly if you they win that a lot changes, but I think it will be a struggle to make the top four.”

Arsenal have been ever-presents in Europe’s elite competition in the past two decades after finishing in the top four in the last 20 consecutive seasons.

However, that impressive record is under serious jeopardy of ending and it’s threatening to tarnish Wenger’s legacy.

They are now six points adrift of Liverpool in fourth and will need to win their two games in hand just to draw level.

The Gunners face Manchester City after the international break and will need a big turnaround in form to make up lost ground on the top four.

In other Arsenal news, Stan Collymore believes the club should get this manager.

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