While a number of voices inside the game have spoken of their worry that those taken out of club action to play in Qatar will suffer burnout, former Gunners star Merson believes those left at home will struggle for form the most.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Magalhaes are among the Arsenal players not featuring at the World Cup - and Merson believes Mikel Arteta’s team as a whole do not want the break.
“You'd have to say it will harm them,” he told Sky Sports. “It certainly doesn't help. We know if they kept going at this rate, they're playing so well. It's the unknown.
“I find it's the players who are not going away that are the ones who are going to struggle. It's a long time without football. Alright you can have a couple of friendlies, but it isn't the same intensity.
“I don't have any worries for the players who are going to the World Cup and going to be playing. It's the norm.
“I think it doesn't help Arsenal generally. I don't see how the break ends, and they come back exactly how they left off. It's going to be a hard ask.”