Arsenal defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal ahead of the trip to Stoke (Getty)

Former Gunner Paul Merson has delivered a brutal analysis of Arsenal’s current defenders.

The North London club were badly exposed in their opening Premier League fixture, needing a late Olivier Giroud header to beat Leicester 4-3.

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Arsene Wenger deployed three at the back for that game, with Nacho Monreal in between Sead Kolasinac and Rob Holding. Prior to kick-off the Arsenal defence looked unconvincing and so it proved with Shinji Okazaki and then Jamie Vardy twice scoring too easily for the Foxes.

In Arsenal’s defence, they were missing captain Per Mertesacker, first-choice defender Laurent Koscielny and Germany international Shkodran Mustafi.

Mertesacker is back in the frame (Getty)

But Merson has predicted that even when they return it will make no difference to Arsenal’s ability to defend.

‘I was impressed with Arsenal against Leicester, in the sense that it was what you expect from Arsenal – scoring lots of goals and letting in a lot. You want to watch them play,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘Will Arsenal improve at the back when they get players back from injury? No. They play a certain way and that’s why they won’t win the Premier League.’

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Mertesacker and Mustafi are back in contention for selection this weekend (Koscielny remains suspended) when Arsenal take on Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. There they will have the chance to prove Merson wrong.

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