Ranking Arsenal’s Priority Positions For The Summer Transfer Window
Every year Arsenal seem to go into the summer transfer window with the same priority positions needing to be filled and every season then starts with Gunners fans scratching their head and cursing Arsene Wenger for not buying the correct players and in most instances no players at all.
This campaign has been very disappointing for Wenger, his team and those who follow the club through thick and thin. The Express has reported that it appears that the Frenchman is going to renew his contract, which means the status quo will probably continue.
If Wenger were to have a change of heart and leave or eventually realise that changes are needed to allow Arsenal to compete against the EPL’s and Europe’s best teams, there are certainly a large number of positions that will need addressing.
The club is also likely to lose some of its talent in the upcoming window. There is a question mark hanging over the future of Alexis Sanchez, and Paddy Power have him at 13/5 to join Manchester City, 5/1 to join Juventus and 5/1 to move to Chelsea. Meanwhile, odds of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joining Liverpool are 4/7, to leave for Manchester United they have it at 14/1, while Newcastle United are rank outsiders for his signature at 28/1, according to some bookmakers.
For Arsenal to shine next season a lot will need to change and the list below goes some way in identifying the positions and personal that will be needed.
5: Cover or replacement for Hector Bellerin
Barcelona want to sign the young Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin in the summer and Arsenal will need to bring in someone as cover or as a replacement for the fleet footed defender.
Let’s face it, Mathieu Debuchy isn’t good enough to put pressure on Bellerin and has hardly made an impact since joining the club from Newcastle United.
The Gunners have already been linked with Sabastian Corcha from Lille, who only has one year left on his contract. Whether or not he is the type of transfer to raise pulses is debatable, and Arsenal will arguably need a better player than Corcha is they want to challenge for trophies during the 2017/2018 season
4: A new left-back
Put bluntly, Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs aren’t good enough to take Arsenal where they need to go. Gibbs hasn’t made the grade for years and is also injury prone. Monreal is 31 and nearing the end of his career, and according to WhoScored.com he has had his worst season for the Gunners since 2013/2014.
The Sun has reported that Jose Luis Gaya is a potential target, although they will need to fight Manchester City for his signature. The 21-year-old has played 92 times for Valencia across all competitions, scoring one goal and registering 10 assists.
3: Central midfield
Santi Cazorla should be a massive part of how Arsenal play, but the fact is he’s missed most of the last two seasons through injury. Now is the time for Wenger to pull out his cheque book and spend money on a world class midfielder. New blood is desperately needed as the likes of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny’s games aren’t suited for the creating role. Anyone missing Cesc Fabrigas?
Assists wise, only Gylfi Sigurdsson would probably be available for transfer in the summer. The Icelandic star has 12 assists for the campaign, the same number as Christian Eriksen and more than Cesc Fabregas or Alexis Sanchez. However, he normally occupies a more advanced position on the pitch, similar to one Mesut Ozil takes up.
2: An attacking midfielder
There have been whispers that Mesut Ozil is being left behind by the modern trends in football. Jeremy Wilson wrote an excellent piece in The Telegraph about it, and there is no doubt that his performances have dipped this season.
The 28-year-old was responsible for 19 Premier League assists last season, currently he has only 6. Might a player like Emil Forsberg from RB Leipzig be a good buy? The 25-year-old Swede has had a cracking season, scoring eight goals and creating 16 in the Bundesliga. This adds to his eight goals and six assists from the 2015/2016 campaign.
Whatever happens this summer, Wenger will need to come up with a solution to his Ozil and attacking midfield problem.
1: A new striker
This is the issue that gets talked about the most by disgruntled Arsenal fans and keen observers of the Premier League. Every side that want to win trophies needs an excellent striker. Chelsea have Diego Costa, Manchester United have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester City have Sergio Aguero and Tottenham Hotspur have Harry Kane.
The Gunners have Alexis Sanchez, but is he really a striker? They have Olivier Giroud, but he seems to fall just short of greatness every season. With Sanchez’s future in so much doubt, buying a top goal scorer must be priority for Wenger.
But who could he turn to? There is Romelu Lukaku, but he’s made it known that he only has eyes for the blue part of London. Across in Germany Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 28 league goals, but would Arsenal have the stomach to pay the massive fee required?
In Spain Antonio Griezmann would be a good shout, but would he not prefer to move further up north and join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United?
There are always the lingering Alexandre Lacazette rumours, but they’ve persisted for ages and Arsenal have never seemed that keen to sign him. Whatever happens, this will be the key area to strengthen in the summer.