'Arsenal are not big fish anymore'

English Premier League

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has criticised the Gunners' business during the January transfer window after only two signings brought in.

The North London outfit bolstered their defence with the arrivals of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares - both on loan deals until the end of the season.

Mari has been plying his trade in Brazil with Flamengo recently, while Soares has spent the last few years with Premier League outfit Southampton.

READ: Mou's one January transfer regret

“Arteta worked with him [Mari] at Man City and will have gone to Arsenal, worked with the defenders at Arsenal and weighed it up and thought ‘he’s played in the second division in Spain but he’s probably better than what I’ve got here’," Merson told Sky Sports.

“The main thing is, he’s seen what he needs at the back. He has come in and brought two defenders in. Will they make a difference? We will have to wait and see.

“The shame for me is that it just shows where Arsenal are. They are struggling.

“They aren’t the big fish anymore where they can go and get £50m or £60m players. They are going for players that no-one else is really after. It wasn’t like they were in a bidding war.

“The lad from Southampton, I didn’t even know he was available and if there was anyone else after him.”