By Amir Mir
Outspoken pundit Stan Collymore believes Arsenal trio Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka are not of the highest level.
The former Liverpool striker gave an honest verdict of the players and of manager Arsene Wenger criticising the Frenchman for not having a ruthless streak.
Writing in his column for the Mirror, the broadcast pundit felt striker Thierry Henry provided the ‘wow’ factor, while Sol Campbell provided “great defensive stability”, but Collymore believes Wenger has not signed a truly great player in years.
“Thierry Henry turned out to be a showstopper, but no one realised how good he would be when he walked through the door,” Collymore wrote in his Mirror column.
“Sol Campbell, you could argue. He offered great defensive stability. But I still don’t feel Mesut Ozil , Alexis Sanchez or Granit Xhaka are of the highest level.”
Wenger will celebrate 20 years in charge at the north London club in October, but the 66-year-old finds himself under increasing pressure for not winning a league title in 12 years and lack of transfer activity.
The three-time Premier League winner signed defensive-midfielder Granit Xhaka from German side Borussia Monchengladbach earlier on in the summer for a fee of £30million, but Collymore feels his name does not excite supporters like the big-name stars Manchester United are attracting.
“They’re very good players. Xhaka is the right type of signing, mobile and aggressive,” said Collymore.
“But his arrival didn’t light up the eyes of Arsenal fans in the same way that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s did with Manchester United’s , or Paul Pogba’s will do, if his deal gets done.”
Arsenal supporters in recent years have been critical of the strikers at the club, with France international Olivier Giroud being accused of not being in the world-class bracket.
Giroud netted on 16 occasions last term, but went on a 15-game goal drought, which played a part in Wenger’s side failing to win yet another league title.
Collymore, who piled his trade at Villa Park felt past mistakes by the Arsenal manager has shown the club do not have the ruthless nature of their rivals.
“Wenger could have done it with Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan could be banging in goals for Arsenal now rather than Barcelona,” said Collymore. “But Arsenal offered that silly “£40m plus a pound” deal to Liverpool and were rightly told where to stick it.
“Of course, Pogba isn’t worth £100m, but the statement that signing would make to the world from United and Jose is, “This is how serious we are. Yet, Wenger and his Arsenal paymasters don’t seem to possess that ruthless streak.”
In other Arsenal team news, Stan Collymore believes if manager Arsene Wenger does not spend then this is what he will risk for the future.