Arsenal legend Bob McNab believes the club would now be serious Premier League title contenders had they signed Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
McNab, a league and FA Cup winner with the Gunners in 1971, says his old side should have moved for the pair before Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool pounced.
The defensive duo have been revelations for the Reds, however McNab believes they both would have jumped at the chance to come to the Emirates had Dutch maestro Dennis Bergkamp and Scot Frank McLintock been asked to intervene.
He told The Sun: “We shot ourselves in both feet by not signing Van Dijk and Robertson.
“I couldn’t imagine Andy Robertson turning us down if Frank McLintock had got involved in talks.
“And the same applies to Bergkamp — if he’d have had a quiet word in Van Dijk’s ear then it could have been us at the top.”
The Gunners favourite admits he was baffled that they didn’t make a statement of intent by signing Van Dijk – who joined rivals Liverpool in a world record £75m deal this time last year.
He explained: “Van Dijk has to be one of the best centre-backs the Premier League has seen in ages.
“For the life of me I really can’t understand why we didn’t go for him when he was at Southampton.
“He’s the player that Arsenal have been crying out for since Tony Adams stopped playing, because he’s a real leader.
“He’s comfortable with the ball, he’s very composed under pressure and above all else he’s a colossus who makes everyone around him look better.”
McNab, 75, is also a huge admirer of Scotland international Robertson, who joined the Merseyside outfit from Hull.
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He added: “Robertson has been brilliant, a joy to watch for ageing full-backs like me.
“Liverpool took a gamble because you never know how someone will cope when they move to a big club where there’s pressure and scrutiny all the time. But Jurgen Klopp really did his homework.”
The two sides meet on Saturday evening at Anfield – live on talkSPORT – as Liverpool look to extend their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.