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Football analyst James Hartson believes Arsenal must sign the best players in the world if they are to challenge for the Premier League, according to the Daily Express.
The Gunners have been doing well this season and are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run, but they have dropped out of the top four and find themselves three points behind Chelsea after three straight league draws.
Manchester City and Liverpool are currently unbeaten in the league and occupy the top two positions on the table making the Gunners hope of a title chase more uncertain.
City and Liverpool have splashed the cash in recent times and both smashed their transfer records this year when Guardiola’s side signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for £60 million and Klopp signed Virgil van Dijk for £75 million from Southampton.
Liverpool also signed Allison Becker for a world record fee for a goalkeeper, a record which was broken not long after by Chelsea when they sign Kepa from Athletic Bilbao in the same summer.
While Arsenal have made their own big acquisitions, breaking their transfer record with a £55 million purchase of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they haven’t come anywhere close to their counterparts in total spending in transfer windows.
Hartson who is BT Sports Analyst believes that they must go in for the best players in the world, like Gareth Bale or other players of his stature, if they want to win the Premier League title that has evaded them since 2004.
When asked how far away he thinks the Gunners are from the league title, he said: “Right now Man City and Liverpool are a fair way away from the rest
“The football they play and the players that they have. Most teams are playing for third. Chelsea, Tottenham, United.
“They won’t admit it but deep down they’re wishing they had a [Sergio] Aguero or a [Kevin] De Bruyne.
“How far are Arsenal away? I think they’re a few years behind in terms of challenging for the title. Top four would be a great success because they’ve missed out the last two seasons. They don’t want to make it three. They’ll do their upmost to get in there.
“Without going to far ahead, if they get into the top four, they will have to finish above two great teams.
“In terms of the title, there’s going to have to be some money spent, they must back Emery in the transfer market. You know Man City are going to go in for the best players on the planet. Arsenal don’t do that.
“Liverpool do now, they just spent £60m on a goalkeeper, £75 on Van Dijk, £50m on Keita – and they’ve got three strikers that are incredible. Right through their spine, they are superb.
“No disrespect to Arsenal, if say for arguments sake, a Gareth Bale becomes available [they won’t go in]. I know he’s ex-Spurs and it may not happen.
“But if a top player like that became available and he’s £95m with £40m wages over the next four years, will they go in for him? They might not.
“But someone like City would and they have. It’s going to take investment, time with Emery and backing from the football club for Arsenal to come close to challenging again.”
Spending such amounts would seem currently impossible for the Gunners, given their current financial constraints, but a return to the top four and Champions league football next season could help them build towards such financial strength in future.