With Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy already signed up for next season you’d be forgiven for thinking that this transfer window has already been a success for Arsenal. However, Arsene Wenger still has plenty of work to do before the Premier League gets underway on the 16th of August. After ruling out the signing of a striker, Jack Cairns takes a look at three positions where Wenger needs to invest.
1. Defensive Midfield
Arsenal have never really replaced Gilberto Silva. Alex Song was a semi-replacement but he did like to wander a bit more than the Brazilian. If the Gunners are to build on last season’s success they need to find a man that channels the spirit of the Brazilian World Cup winner.
Mikel Arteta may have adapted his game to play there in the last couple of years but he looked painfully exposed as Arsenal were demolished on more than one occasion against big teams last season. Sami Khedira only has a year left on his contract at the Bernabeu but his rumoured move to the Emirates seems to have stalled over wage demands, making the move unlikely now. Don’t be surprised to see Khedira sign a new deal with Real or end up in the south of France with Monaco.
That leaves Arsenal with one less option but there are still plenty of midfielders that fit the bill. Both Bender brothers, Lars and Sven. have been linked, as well as Morgan Schneiderlin and all three would offer more defensive solidity that the ageing Arteta currently possesses.
An audacious bid for the unsettled Javi Martinez is unlikely but stranger things have happened and Arsenal need a holding midfielder if they’re to triumph again this term.
2. Central Defence
With third choice Thomas Vermaelen seemingly on his way out and Bacary Sagna swapping London Colney for Carrington, Arsenal look painfully short at the back. Ignasi Miquel has returned from his loan at Leicester but very few Arsenal fans would like to see the young Spaniard start in any crucial games.
This leaves Wenger in desperate need of some cover and Mertesacker’s need for a quick partner does narrow the options significantly. Third choice defenders are notoriously hard to find so don’t be surprised if Wenger brings in someone who can play more than one position across the backline.
Nicolas N’Koulou fits that bill and after an impressive season with Marseille he might be ready to step up to a higher level but only if Wenger is willing to ignore his horrific World Cup campaign with Cameroon. Samuel Umtiti & Aymeric Laporte are both young and French so don’t rule out an almost stereotypical move from Wenger before the end of the transfer window.
To say that Arsenal need another goalkeeper is pretty much stating the obvious. With Lukasz Fabianski moving to Swansea, Arsenal are left with only one senior goalkeeper. This isn’t as much of a puzzle as the central defender scenario,as Colombian No. 1 David Ospina seems almost certain to complete his move to the Emirates.
Combine these three signings with Bendtner’s contract termination and next season could be very bright for Arsenal.
Jack Cairns, Pundit Arena.