Merson wrote in the Daily Star: "Other players will get more responsibility. They will have a chance to shine. I think they will step up now Van Persie's gone. It will make them better players.
"That's what happened when Thierry Henry left. I also think Arsene Wenger's bought well.
"They now have a 'Plan B' in Olivier Giroud because he is strong in the air, and that is something they have not had there for years.
"Lukas Podolski is only 27 and already has over 100 caps for Germany. You can't be a bad player if you can say that, can you?
"So I see Arsenal finishing comfortably in the top four, and that's the first time in years I've been able to say that."