Arsenal have been warned that they must complete the signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City if they hope to finish in the Premier League's top four next season.
The Gunners narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League when they finished two points behind Tottenham in the English top-flight in 2021-22.
The north London side have agreed a transfer fee with Manchester City but are yet to finalise personal terms with the Brazilian striker, and ex-Gunners star Merson insists he will make the difference between a spot in the Europa League and Champions League next term.
What did Merson say about Gabriel Jesus?
"They have got to get him. It's that simple. Everything goes out of the window if they don't," Merson wrote in a column for The Daily Star.
"It doesn't matter what else they do. All they've got right now up front is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave.
"No disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise he won't get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That's a fact. So they need Jesus.
"They don't need young players with potential like Fabio Vieira. They need experience. And Jesus has plenty of that."
Will Gabriel Jesus join Arsenal?
GOAL reported this week that the attacker's representatives were set for crucial talks with the Gunners this week, and late Friday confirmed that a transfer agreement had come together.
The 25-year-old's agents are eager to arrange a deal with the north London team, as he is looking to secure first-team football for next season.