While the new dawn at Arsenal is taking some time to rise, there’s certainly a feeling that the post-Wenger era has gotten off to a decent start, if not an explosive one.
The great Frenchman left a reasonably strong squad behind, boosted by the signings of Lacazette and Aubameyang prior to his departure, but there’s still some way to go before they’re back on the world football scene.
Their ultimate aim is to be battling against the likes of rivals Spurs, who are listed in the latest odds to win the Champions League at 22/1, but the Gunners will need a strong finish to this season just to feature among Europe’s best sides next time out.
Yannick Carrasco – By Светлана Бекетова -https://www.soccer.ru/galery/1056314/photo/734999, CC BY-SA 3.0,
A Europa League win would bring them qualification, as would a top-four finish in the Premier League. They’re as far as six points behind Chelsea, who are in 4th, so Arsenal may be relying on winning Europe’s second competition to qualify for its showcase event.
There’s little doubt they need to bring in a new face or two; the squad is evolving, but they must continue to do so if they’re going to catch up to the top four in the Premier League. They’ve always had sides built on flair, skill and pace, and if they’re astute, they might just be able to capture a star who has fallen rather spectacularly from grace.
India, USA, and China are all countries that lure premier sportsmen over to their competitions with money rather than glory. The Chinese Premier League has attracted a host of top players, none of whom have found the experience particularly helpful for their footballing ambitions. One such player that is prime Arsenal material is 25-year old Belgium international Yannick Carrasco.
He’s being linked with a move to Arsenal, and, on the face of it, it seems like a really good move all round. He’s currently plying his trade with Dalian Yifang, an odd move for a player who finished as a runner up in a Champions League final, as well as earning a third-place finish with Belgium in the 2018 World Cup.
Carrasco is a flying winger who broke through with Monaco in the French League, helping them win Ligue 2 in 2013 before moving on to Spain to play for Atletico Madrid. Following their Champions League exploits and his performances for his country, he seemed primed to make another big move, maybe to one of Europe’s top clubs.
Emirates Stadium – By Ed g2s – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Instead, he chose to head out to China and has all but slipped off the footballing radar. The competition receives little coverage in Europe, and, aside from Nicolás Gaitán, his teammates are no world stars either.
It’s a crying shame that a player in his prime has chosen such a move, but the recent reports do suggest he might be rethinking his career choices. If he is, Arsenal should be right at the front of the queue. He’s just what they need, a provider for the illustrious strikers they have at the Emirates and the type of player who has thrived there in the past.
There’s a long way to go before Arsenal are once again a dominant force in the English game, but mixing those big money buys with shrewd captures such as Carrasco is certainly the way forward with Arsenal’s self-sustaining transfer policy….