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Arsenal legend Frank McLintock calls on Arsene Wenger to find January replacement for Per Mertesacker

Double-winning Arsenal defender Frank McLintock has urged Arsene Wenger to find an upgrade on Per Mertesacker if he is to enjoy success in Europe.

Mertesacker has been a regular presence in the gunners backline over recent months, recovering from a chest infection in September to resume his partnership with Laurent Koscielny.

However without his regular partner the 31-year-old has often struggled with relatively ordinary defences, putting in particularly poor performances in surprise defeats away to Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton.

With a Champions League tie against Barcelona and their thrilling frontline of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi to come in February McLintock, who was at the heart of the 1971 champions who won 10 matches 1-0, believes an upgrade on Mertesacker should be a priority for Wenger.

“I’d like to see an improvement in January, especially at centre-half,” he told Talksport.

“I think Per Mertesacker has been a bit fortunate. He’s been a great pro and a great player for Germany, but I can’t see him getting in the Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid teams. That’s a position that needs to be filled.

“If Francis Coquelin is injured there isn’t a ready-made player with any height or strength who could play in that holding midfield position, and they definitely need another top class centre-forward too in case Olivier Giroud – who has been effective this season -  gets injured.”


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