Arsenal legend Paul Merson weighs in on Newcastle United 'predicament' and makes bold former club claim

Former Middlesbrough forward Paul Merson has said he would not join the club if he could do his career over as he compared the situation at the Riverside in the late 1990s to the current set-up at fierce rivals Newcastle United.

By Martyn Simpson
Monday, 31st January 2022, 3:15 pm
Updated Monday, 31st January 2022, 3:54 pm
Robbie Mustoe and Paul Merson celebrate a goal during Middlesbrough's FA Cup tie against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in January 1998
Robbie Mustoe and Paul Merson celebrate a goal during Middlesbrough's FA Cup tie against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in January 1998

The Arsenal and England icon, now well known as part of the pundit line-up on Soccer Saturday, was speaking on Sky Sports News’ “Transfer Deadline Day” show and discussing what is expected to be a busy day in Newcastle.

The St James’ Park side have the financial backing of their new owners and Merson drew comparisons to Middlesbrough when he joined the club after they were able to offer him more money than Arsenal.

He said: "I went to Middlesbrough because I was offered a lot of money, I'm not going to lie, It's a bit like the Newcastle situation.”

Although Merson won promotion with Boro in the 1997-98 season, the 53-year old has now claimed he would NOT sign for the club if he could do it over.

When asked if he was still playing would he sign for Newcastle United, Merson said: "Through past experiences of going to Middlesbrough, and I loved it there in the end don't get me wrong, I loved the people there and the club but at the start I went for the wrong reasons.

"I went for the money, I'm not going to lie, if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't go.

"That's no disrespect to Middlesbrough Football Club, it's not about money and you want to be happy and playing football and you want to be where you want to be."