Arsenal’s attention has been on revamping their attack this month, but they must focus on the midfield in the summer.
If there was one area of the team that was in urgent need of repair, it was the front-line. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the potential arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will hopefully be the new injection of quality the team needs to kick-on this season.
After that, our neglected midfield could do with some maintenance. The age-old issue about lacking a high-quality defensive midfielder remains to this very day.
Granit Xhaka has enjoyed playing in a more advanced role lately and has proven to be unreliable when he plays deeper. He’s not as alert to the danger around him as a deep-lying player should be.
Mohamed Elneny has started the last two games, but for all his hard work, he’s not an outstanding defender, either. The addition of a new defensive midfielder would free one of them up to provide vital cover for the more attacking positions.
If the plan is play with a midfield three, as we have done against Crystal Palace and Chelsea, then Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey aren’t going to be enough. The pair have quality but also a long history with injury.
On top of that, Wilshere is still out of contract in the summer, while Ramsey’s deal expires in 2019. Our options would look healthier were Santi Cazorla available, but Arsenal simply can’t plan with him in mind.
Take these three players away and we’ll be desperately short of midfield quality. That is just the worst-case scenario. Things will not look quite as bleak should Wilshere and Ramsey sign new contracts, but it can’t hurt to eye up new targets.
We’ve been linked with the likes of Steven N’Zonzi (a combative and commanding midfielder) and Jean-Michael Seri (more creative in the final third) this month, but nothing came of the speculation. Here’s hoping Arsenal have a plan for the summer as our spine needs work.