5 Positions Arsenal Need to Strengthen This Summer
Arsenal's 5 Positions that Need to be Strengthened This Summer
Arsenal fought hard at the end of last season going on a ten game unbeaten run to gain a Champions League spot. If they want to start competing for the title, however, and not have fight to barely scrape out a fourth place finish, they will need to make some acquisitions in order to strengthen the squad. Now when I say strengthen, I don’t necessarily mean that each position listed will require a completely new face. Take the Nacho Monreal signing last year for example. The signing wasn’t made to replace Kieran Gibbs but to add some depth at left back. Some positions might just require more depth to bolster the squad or add more options in case of injury or suspension.
Over the past couple of years, there have been more big names leave the Emirates Stadium than to join. This has made challenging for the English Premier League title difficult for Arsenal. With a surplus of money available to spend this summer, Arsenal must make some big moves. There are a number of issues that they need to address, but with the first game of the season only a month away, something needs to be done soon in order to better integrate the new players into the squad.
After some decent signings last year, fans will be looking for players who can come in and perform immediately. This could be one of the most important transfer windows in recent memory for Arsenal, and it will certainly have a big impact on the next few seasons.
This interesting position in the Arsenal squad is occupied by Bacary Sagna who has been linked with a move away from the Emirates. Although I don’t think that will happen for another year, it leaves the question of whether Carl Jenkinson is ready for full-time action or not. He is a promising young player, but it might do him some good to be mentored by an older, more experienced player. If Sagna does indeed leave, they will need an experienced replacement capable of coming right into the squad.
With the departure of Alex Song last season, Arsenal lost an enforcer in the midfield role. This is a unique position that not many players can fulfill, but it would be a huge boost for Arsenal if they were to get one. Players such as Luiz Gustavo or Ilkay Gundogan would be a good fit for Arsenal. Recent rumors suggest that Bayern Munich are willing to part with Gustavo since their midfield has gotten crowded. Arsenal should take a long look at this player if they want a world-class midfield.
Lately, there have been three players to put on the gloves for the gunners. Manuel Almunia left in 2012, leaving Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny to fight for the starting position. Szczesny seems to have the upper-hand now, but there needs to be some experience added to that list. The club was being linked with Julio Cesar this summer, but now it seems Italy is the most likely destination for the Brazilian. He would be a perfect addition to the squad coming at a bargain price as well as providing competition and international experience.
Last year, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were extremely successful as a pair, helping the team to its clutch unbeaten run to end the season. This success led to the benching of club captain Thomas Vermaelen. With recent departures, there are only three senior center backs in the line-up. That means with an injury and a suspension, Ignasi Miquel would have to play. He is a decent player but not yet ready for that responsibility. Arsenal should seriously consider looking for a center back that can slot in next to one of the three players now as to avoid any problems during the season.
It seems the story of Arsenal is trying to replace the great players that decide to leave. This was the case last year when Robin van Persie went to Manchester United. Replacing 30 league goals has proven to be difficult for the gunners. This summer, the club has been linked with Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez. While I do not think they should pursue Suarez, both players would add goal-scoring ability to a team that needs clutch finishing. Arsenal need a natural finisher with a high conversion rate to produce a lot of goals in order to contend for a title.