As the 2013 Summer Transfer Window nears its end, Arsenal find themselves with just one underwhelmingly free signing, leaving them short on numbers, and arguably short on quality.[quote_right]”Arsene Wenger has angered most, if not all, Arsenal fans this summer…”[/quote_right]
Arsene Wenger has angered most, if not all, Arsenal fans this summer, by leaving his player purchases right up until the very last week. Points have been dropped, performances haven’t been spectacular, and the pressure is most definitely on, especially as North London rivals Tottenham have added to their already half-decent squad.
In my opinion, Arsene Wenger needs to find a way to strengthen no less than five different positions, all before the transfer window slams shut in just a few days time.
[title]1. Defensive Midfield[/title]
Remarkably, Arsenal never truly replaced Gilberto Silva. That’s unlike saying that we never replaced Thierry Henry, as Gilberto Silva is actually replaceable, despite his quality. Instead, Arsene has relied on players like Alex Song, who was defensively poor, and Mikel Arteta, a midfielder renowned for his attacking qualities more than anything else.
Although I recently wrote about the importance of Arteta, It’s vital that Arsene actually goes out and purchases a player who has made defending his bread and butter from a young age.
Arsenal’s loss against Aston Villa at the start of the season was the perfect example of why a defensive midfielder is needed. With our make-shift defensive midfielder injured, Villa drove at Arsenal’s defence on numerous occasions, completely unchallenged.
Currently, Arsenal aren’t lacking goals. With seven goals in three competitive games, it’s difficult to argue that we are not already scoring on a respectable level.
However, Arsenal do lack an out-and-out finisher who will get 30 goals a season. As we all know, in order to win trophies and compete for Leagues, a striker like that is precisely what you need.
Olivier Giroud has been showing promise, but with him being the only known striker in our entire squad, Arsene Wenger would be almost crazy not to provide the Frenchman with some solid competition.
[title]3. Centre Back[/title]
With only one fit centre back, Arsenal struggled to make up the numbers in defence during their season openers. Aaron Ramsey and even Lukas Podolski had to fill in at centre back and left back against Aston Villa, which just goes to show how thin our squad really is.
Buying a competent centre back will definitely solve many of our issues, especially if that centre back has any versatility in being able to play in a full back position.
Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Koscielny are all high-quality defenders, so I don’t envisage Arsene buying big here. A young and upcoming talent would be ideal. Sebastien Squaillaci would be realistic.
With Szczesney showcasing his mistakes and naivety early on in the season, and with Fabianski being Fabianksi, Arsenal could do with a seriously solid Goalkeeper to kick the former into gear.
Arsenal are covered when it comes to talented young goalkeepers, but lack an experienced figurehead within the squad. Leaving Szczesney with only Fabianski as competition was always going to spell trouble.
Unlike some of the other positions I have spoken about, the right players are definitely out there. Somehow, Julio Cesar has remained at Championship side QPR, pretty much waiting to solve one of Arsenal’s biggest ongoing problems.
But the bench isn’t a position?
Oh yes it is. Having a strong bench can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Over the last few games, Arsenal have presented a bench patched together with the likes of Serge Gnabry, Gedion Zelalem and Emmanuel Frimpong. Although the potential of these players are great, Arsenal are currently poised to have these as substitutes against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. Defeat is all we can expect in such a situation.
Players who should be impressing in the League Cup, are instead just one injury away from facing the biggest clubs in the world. Trophies can never be won with such a weak bench.
If Arsene manages to find reinforcements for positions 1-4, then the bench position will naturally take care of itself. But for now, it’s dangerously weak.
[title]Hold on to Your Seat Belts[/title]
I think most Arsenal fans will agree with me when I say that Arsene Wenger will purchase players this Summer. The only question is, who will he bring in, and will they be up for the job at hand?[quote_left]”The coming days will be frantic with last-minute negotiations, big money offers and probably some surprise names.”[/quote_left]
Big, capable names such as Higauin, Suarez, Gustavo and others have already slipped through the seemingly feeble grip of Arsene Wenger, which doesn’t fill me with confidence.
However, if there is one man who can make a great transfer happen, it is, in my opinion, Arsene Wenger. You only have to check out his complete transfer history to find out why I believe that. The coming days will be frantic with last-minute negotiations, big money offers and probably some surprise names. It’s going to get hectic.
This next week will be shaping the future of both Arsene Wenger, and Arsenal Football Club. Both need good deals to happen. For now, as ever, it’s a waiting game
Where do you think Arsenal should strengthen first? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image: Ronnie MacDonald