Arsenal to strengthen this Summer?

End of drought spirals Arsenal into the unknown.

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Özil was not the ultimate answer to our season this year, but was his acquistion symbolic of a new bold Arsenal in the transfer market?

 

It’s been a week since history was made (and re-made) at Wembley, and the euphoria has finally died down somewhat. It seems Gunners across the globe have to pinch themselves at not only the fact that we won the FA Cup, but in the manner in which it was done. It seemed as if our demons had returned from the pits of the Carling Cup Final hell to haunt us once more as Hull went 2-0 up in under ten minutes. Nevertheless, we won; the wait is over, and that is all. In the midst of all the bragging rights and celebration, the looming reality is that it’s everyone’s guess where Arsène and his boys will go from here.

From the pre season there was something different about this Arsenal team, something ruthless. Most analysts and pundits overlooked it because they were preoccupied lambasting the club for the usual lack of zeal in the transfer market. However, André Santos and Gervinho, two players in the spotlight for their poor displays last season were shipped off post haste, while potential young players like Coquelin and Miquel were sent on loan for experience. The “Verminator” was dropped from the starting lineup, despite being the skipper. And most of all, there was an efficient-looking team that was turning heads, albeit ever-so-slightly. Aaron Ramsey seemed primed for a good season as well. However, the real turning point was the signing of Mesut Özil in the wake of our NLD win in September.

The bug-eyed wonder did not disappoint, particularly in his first three months of the season. He did, however begin to flag around the months that surrounded Christmas, only to return fresh after a Wenger-induced hiatus. Öz probably wasn’t the final answer in truth, Arsenal needed more razor sharpness in their final third especially as Theo’s mercurial overlapping play was missed through injury. Questions were also being raised about our strength in defensive midfield as Arteta’s ageing legs did not match the perfection of his haircut. The point is with another season rolled by the reinforcements need to come in swiftly over the summer window. Wenger has already offloaded more dead weight (another plus), however, it seems that Sagna is on his way out as well.

It’s now common knowledge that Puma have signed us and that Nike are no longer the kit sponsor of the team. There have been a lot of rumours that this new deal will bring a lot of financial muscle for us at long last. It has also been said that with the debts for the Emirates Stadium all but paid, we are now finally ready to compete in the market. Believe whatever you want, I think that it is more useful to know that now that we have secured Champions League football next year via the  ghastly fourth spot as well as finally winning a bloody trophy, we can expect more signings in the Özil magnitude. For now, no-one knows what to expect with the often cryptic Wenger and the media-shy Arsenal board. Here is a list of realistic targets within the next three months, among which I believe four, maybe five in the required positions will suffice our ambitions next year.

  • Yohan Cabaye
  • Mathieu Debuchy
  • Karim Benzema
  • Mario Mandzukić
  • Francesc Fabregas
  • Daley Blind
  • Serge Aurier
  • Javier Mascherano
  • Alexis Sanchez
  • Mario Balotelli
  • Loïc Remy
  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Calum Chambers

That’s not a bad looking list in truth. Among them, I doubt that Newcastle would release their two Frenchmen, but I have been fans of them since Euro 2012, and Wenger does have the French connect. Many believe that we can procure Balotelli from Milan because he’s a Puma athlete, however, I think the fact that Milan will not be in the Champions League, but we will, can work in our favour. Let’s not forget the financial state of Italian clubs as well as the young Italian’s issues with racist fans at home. Cesc Fabregas seems to be wanting to make an about turn “back home”… again. Among the defensive midfielders listed I think Mascherano offers the most as he has experience in England for years before going to Catalunya. Daley Blind may not be an actual target, but he’s young, unknown, outside of the Eredivisie and a technically astute holding midfielder – he is after all Dutch. If Real can make a swoop for Suarez, maybe at long last Benzema can come to the club he truly belongs. I can only dare to dream. And finally, let’s not overlook that we may resign Vela as well as bring back Coquelin and Joel-Campbell. In recent times for the Arsenal, spiralling into the unknown has never looked so good!

COYG!

 

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