'Arteta is no Tiger Woods' - Arsenal set to flourish in post-coronavirus Premier League landscape, predicts Merson

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal could benefit from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic in the Premier League, according to former Gunners midfielder Paul Merson.

With clubs set to lose spending power, Merson says coaches will have to rely on their ability to improve the players they already have – which should suit Arteta perfectly.

Arsenal had been expected to undertake a significant overhaul of their squad but this is now no longer likely to be possible.

“I quite like it because now coaches have got to be coaches, they've got to make these players better,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“I think clubs are going to be really, really cautious in the market.

“For me, this is where coaches become coaches. It's all well and good buying £80 million players all the time.

“Seriously, what do you need to coach an £80m player? If you're coaching an £80m player, telling them what they need to do, he isn't worth £80m.

“The good coaches will come to the fore, and those that aren't will struggle. Some will blossom, some will not.”

Merson says Arteta isn’t a Tiger Woods-like figure in the mould of Pep Guardiola – only dealing in the top trophies.

In Guardiola’s former assistant, Arsenal may have a coach ready to put the work in and rebuild the Gunners from the ground up.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

The Spaniard said in early April he was planning for a number of different transfer scenarios relating to Covid-19, with fans eager to see what direction he chooses to take the club.

“I think this situation helps someone like Mikel Arteta,” he said.

“Arsenal need such an overhaul of players that it's actually almost impossible to get that many players in.

“Arsenal's expectations will be nowhere near as high as they were a few months ago. I think he'll now be given loads and loads of time to build. He's young, he's enthusiastic, and he'll want to work with younger players.

“He's not a Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, who I'd call your Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroys - they're just dealing in majors, nothing else! Arteta is the type who might work from the ground up with lesser players.”