As opposed to my article earlier today, this article is going to be looking forward into Arsenal’s future, as opposed to looking backwards at what has already happened around Europe this summer! If we look at Arsenal’s summer, we’ve managed to sign Cech from Chelsea, as well as we’ve offloaded Podolski, Miyaichi and Diaby (and we have not re-signed Flamini either). That frees up 4 very valuable slots in our EPL roster, assuming Arsene doesn’t give Flamini another one year contract. We have also managed to loan Maitland-Niles to Ipswich, which I think will do wonders for the very promising young winger. Most importantly, we have not lost anybody of value this transfer window, which means that we are free to add to, and improve upon, last season’s squad. Gone are the days that we are looking to replace somebody each season.
Ideally, we let Flamini go on a free as he is now out of contract, and bring in either Vidal or Schneiderlin. With Manchester United confirming the signing of Schweinsteiger, I feel as though Schneiderlin is ours should Arsene want him. I can understand the delay in signing Vidal as he was pre-occupied with Chile and winning the Copa America until recently, however that’s done and dusted. Vacation or not, it’s time for him to sort out his future. If we do not sign either Vidal or Schneiderlin, I will be extremely disappointed. While Coquelin has done a fantastic job for the second half of last season, we need competition for him. Between Vidal and Schneiderlin, neither of them is an out and out DM like Coquelin, which is a good thing. Both of them are more defensive minded than Cazorla, Wilshere and Ramsey, however they both offer more than Coquelin when going forward. We would be able to play either of them alongside Coquelin to help solidify a lead, or we would be able to play either of them instead of Coquelin when we still want a defensive presence, but we want a bit more going forward.
Additionally, while I am excited to see Walcott’s pace playing up top, I would like us to sign another striker too. For me, it’s either Higuain, or Lacazette. If we purchase any other striker, that is currently being linked with us, then its a waste of money. While I appreciate what Giroud does give us, we need an alternative. We struggled when he was injured last season and it cost us. Walcott is back, and Oxlade-Chamberlain should help as well, however we need another. We need somebody that is going to simply score the chances that we create for him. While I wouldn’t complain too much about signing Cavani, I would much rather see Higuain or Lacazette, even after the Copa America that Higuain had this summer.
Lastly, and of much less importance, is a central defender. To me, we need one. Mertesacker is 30, Koscielny will be 30 in September, and has had a recurring Achilles injury recently. While Chambers is a CB for the future, he needs a season of consistent game time at CB. Loan out Chambers to an EPL or Championship club so that he can get used to the physical game required at CB, and bring in Van Dijk from Celtic. As a Celtic supporter, I have watched every single match that he’s played this past season, and he’s the real deal. He may not have a Senior appearance for the Netherlands yet, but don’t be surprised if that changes this upcoming season. At 6’4, quick and athletic, he’s got the physical attributes to succeed in the EPL. He’s both strong and very capable on the ball and he’s strong in the air as well. If occasionally necessary, he would be able to slot in as a DM to help solidify the final 10-15 minutes of a close win. As he just won the Celtic Player of the Year award, he will cost 12-15 million, but he’s only 24 and already has 2 years of Champion’s League Experience. In my mind, he’s as close to a sure success as possible.
As much as I try not to put weight into Twitter reports, this Muzzi Ozcan guy does seem to have a very positive track record as being reliable. Here’s to hoping that he’s right, and Arsenal announce a massive signing (in value/quality, not price) sometime this week. Until then, I’m going to be playing my Fifa15 and hoping that the US men’s team have a successful Gold Cup!