Arsenal do not even play the first match of this pre-season until next Friday when we face Lens in France, but Arsene Wenger is already facing something of a crisis in terms of his squad. No surprise there then. The Frenchman may well be hoping that the next few weeks prove that the likes of Theo Walcott, Joel Campbell and Chuba Akpom are more than capable of firing Arsenal to a good start in the Premier League, but the more realistic point of view is that we need more.
But Wenger has a problem because he has already told Arsenal Player that he feels that the four players that went furthest in the Euro 2016 tournament need more time to recover than they would get if he was to recall them in time for the start of the season.
He said, “It takes you two or three weeks to regenerate… to recover completely, and they need to come back with hunger. That disappointment to lose a final, it takes some time to recover from that.
“I believe the club benefits from [our players’] experiences at the top level, and the mental experiences as well that they have gone through with such a huge pressure. Of course in the longer term you benefit from that.”
It seems clear that the boss is determined not to see a repeat of the drop in performance level we saw from Alexis Sanchez last season and so the Gunners will almost certainly be without Giroud, Ozil, Koscielny and Ramsey when Liverpool come to north London.
That is one reason for him to secure the transfer of another striker as soon as possible and another is the bad news about the ankle injury of Alexis Sanchez, with The Mirror reporting that although the swelling and bruising has gone, there is still a problem with his ligament and a real doubt about him being fit in time.
As if this was not enough, an Evening Standard report claims that our top transfer target Gonzalo Higuain is now being seriously pursued by the Italian champions Juventus. So if Arsenal are serious about signing the striker from Napoli we need to get on the case fast and get it done so he can be up and running with the team in time for the EPL opener.
Do you think we will see Higuain finally join Arsenal this week?