After missing out on Champions League qualification, Arsenal have a very important transfer window ahead. We’ve already been linked with several players, but which areas of the team should be reinforced this summer?
With deals being completed and crazy rumours flying about, the transfer season is well and truly upon us. Arsenal have already completed the signing of Bosnina defend Sead Kolasinac to solve their problems at left back. Now they’ll be looking at other areas of team that could do with strengthening.
One that immediately comes to mind is in attack. This has been a problem position for Arsenal for a good five years now. They tried to sort it in 2013 when they attempted to sign Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez, but have since seemingly settled on Olivier Giroud.
Giroud is a good striker with a good games-per-goal record, but it’s no secret Arsenal need more pace up top and, more importantly, more ruthlessness. A “killer”, as Wenger might say.
Both Giroud and Welbeck bring plenty of things to the table, but we got a real taste of having a killer up top when Alexis played their earlier in the season. It’s clear, however, that Wenger prefers him more involved in build-up play.
As always, a seemingly endless list of names has appeared for who Arsenal’s new striker could be. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mauro Icardi, Andrea Belotti, Andre Silva, Romelu Lukaku, Alexandre Lacazette, Carlos Bacca, Kylian Mbappe… none of which seem likely to join Arsenal, for various reasons.
This is a nevertheless a key area, and a good signing to bolster the attack could be the difference between a top-four finish and challenging for the title.
Further back, we have the interesting case of Arsenal’s engine room. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey eventually formed a good partnership at the back end of last season, but there are a number of issues to consider.
One is Ramsey’s injury proneness, as the Welshman has suffered repeated muscle injuries. Another is Xhaka’s poor tackling technique. Beyond them, there are doubts over the quality of Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny can’t get a game and Santi Cazorla is unfortunately out for the long-term. Jack Wilshere’s return from his loan at Bournemouth hardly alleviates any of those issues.
A central midfielder should be on the list. There aren’t many Cazorla’s around, but a player of his ilk would be the perfect compliment to Xhaka’s long-range passing from deep and Ramsey’s incredible industry.
Should Arsenal sign a striker and midfielder, it would meet Wenger’s “two or three” more quota for the summer. But there are other areas the Gunners could do with strengthening, especially if certain players leave the club.
For example, one area that will become a problem should Alexis and Ozil leave is attacking midfield. Alex Iwobi isn’t ready to take over full time while Theo Walcott isn’t all that suited to our current formation. Arsenal would certainly have to break the bank for a number ten and a winger-cum-forward as well.
Central defence is another area that is up for debate. Despite possessing a good battery of centre backs, there are still those who believe Arsenal are missing that ever-elusive top class defender. I’m of the opinion this is a position that will have to be looked at next summer, with Mertesacker set to retire and Koscielny getting older. But for now it’s not an urgent concern.
Finally, we have the goalkeeper. Petr Cech will be Arsenal’s number one next season, even though his form tends to fluctuate these days. Without any obviously better keepers on the market at the moment, this would be another position that isn’t urgent.
However, his backup next season could just be Emi Martinez. The Argentine hasn’t had many chances to prove how good he is, but at the same time a keeper with such little experience doesn’t seem the most reliable of number twos.
In any case, a central midfielder and a striker should take top priority this summer, followed by a couple of attacking midfielders should Alexis and Ozil leave.