Paul Merson urges Chelsea to sign Manchester City defender John Stones and sell ‘problem’ player Marcos Alonso

Paul Merson has urged Chelsea to sign Manchester City defender John Stones (Picture: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson has urged Chelsea to sign Manchester City and England defender John Stones and sell ‘problem’ player Marcos Alonso.

Chelsea have impressed in Frank Lampard’s first season as Blues boss, finishing fourth in the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup final.

Lampard has already bolstered his squad with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, but Merson reckons the team’s defence still needs a shake-up.

And the Arsenal legend has urged Chelsea to sign Stones, who is being linked with a move away from Man City and has emerged as a target for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

‘I’d go and get John Stones for that, and play him in the middle of the three. Then I’d say have Antonio Rudiger and Christensen either side of them,’ Merson told Sky Sports.

‘Chelsea love to play out the back, they roll it out every time, so you need someone unbelievably good on the ball.

‘If you have pace around them, I think it will help Chelsea; I think Stones would be a great buy, and he has to play in a three.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for the Man City and England star (Picture: Getty)

‘Stones has the potential to be great, he really has, but he needs the confidence.

‘At the moment Chelsea have three centre-halves that aren’t in the same class as Stones on the ball.’

Merson also believes Chelsea must sign a new left back to replace Alonso, who is closing in on 150 appearances for the Blues but has attracted criticism throughout the season.

The former Gunners star added: ‘Their priority has to be getting a centre-half and a left-back. 100 per cent.

‘It tells you everything that they have to play three at the back, Frank Lampard doesn’t trust the centre-backs.

‘They’ve bought well so far up front, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are major signings, but don’t end up like Arsenal, where everyone is crying out and can see what they need.

‘How many years did we say Arsene Wenger needs a centre-half, but he never went and got one?

‘Marcos Alonso for me needs replacing; he gets vital goals but he’s not a natural defender.

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‘That doesn’t help the back three because centre-halves have to come out of their comfort zone and come out of the line of the box to defend on the wings. Alonso causes that problem.

‘Cesar Azpilicueta is a great pro, but he’s getting on now. Kurt Zouma has a mistake in him.

‘Chelsea don’t have a naturally-gifted centre-half who can put his foot on the ball and play.’

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