Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson believes Everton should have offered his former side £40m ($52m) to sign Olivier Giroud as the forward would have guaranteed the Toffees 15 goals a season, something they are lacking at the moment.

The Merseyside got their Europa League season to an absolutely poor start, losing 3-0 to Italian side Atalanta with Everton struggling for goals.

Ronald Koeman spent huge amount of money on new signings this summer, but unable to get a good replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who signed for Manchester United. Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez, Gylfi Sigurdsson all played a part in the game, but were unable to reduce to discrepancy.

Giroud himself admitted he was close to leaving the Emirates Stadium during the summer transfer window until talks with his family saw him second thoughts on the decision. Giroud, who scored 16 goals for Arsenal across all competition last season, registered just 11 Premier League starts last season and was linked with move to Everton and West Ham United following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais.

Koeman’s first priority was signing a front-line forward during the final weeks of the transfer window but despite making 15 new additions to his side during the summer, he was unable to reach an agreement with Arsenal for the Frenchman.

“One you wouldn’t have been able to do that, but you had to have a go. Even if you ring up Arsenal and say here’s £35-40m for Giroud. It might be a couple of quid overprice, but he would get you 15 goals,” Paul Merson told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Express.

“It’s a nice tight pitch at Goodison Park, he’d have played inside the lines, wouldn’t have had to run the channels – and you’ve got people like Sigurdsson who can put the ball on a sixpence at set plays. I don’t see how he wouldn’t have got 15 goals. But to go with Sandro and the other lad (Vlasic) – would they get 15 between them this season?” he added.