Van Persie believes Arsenal can reach the level of Liverpool and Manchester City

Former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie believes the Gunners can reach the level of Liverpool and Manchester City, should manager Unai Emery find the cohesion within the first-team squad. The north London side impressed at different stages of the 2018/19 campaign under Unai Emery but ultimately, they fell short of the Champions League places for the third season on the bounce.

Speaking to BT Sport, Van Persie feels the Gunners can close the gap to the Reds and Citizens in the long-term, but for that, Emery needs a group of players, who can showcase consistency over an extended period of time, he said: "They have to connect – really connect – as a team. That is Unai Emery’s job but also the players.

That is a long process but teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham - they still need to prove they are on that level. Everything needs to be right - and constantly. Not just one game a week but every three, four days you have to bring that and that is the most difficult thing but Liverpool are City are doing that. I hope that Arsenal can reach that level because it makes it more interesting."

Emery’s side managed to surprise many with the transfer business for the summer and the arrival of Nicolas Pepe has meant that they now have a formidable attacking trident with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang partnering the Ivorian. Still, there has not been much improvement on the central defensive front with just David Luiz joining the club on the immediate basis.

The Capital outfit have also landed the signature of William Saliba, who is due to join them after the loan stint with Saint-Etienne, and it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman can become an instant success next term. Elsewhere, the Gunners failed with a deadline-day move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and they could return for the centre-back in either January or at the end of the season.