At the end of the 2014-15 season one thing was clear that Arsenal were still two to three players short of winning the Premier league. The three players are presumably a goalkeeper, defensive midfielder and a striker. After securing the Petr Cech deal earlier this month the Arsenal transfer rumours have been limited to a mere few. There could be two conclusions to this situation, one would be the usual Wenger style of surprising us with signings towards the fag end of the transfer window otherwise Wenger should be happy with the current squad and would have decided not to bring in any more players. Both cases has its own share of ups and downs.
If a defensive midfielder and striker are bought but if they fail to deliver then Wenger will be criticized and two other players will have lesser gametime. On the contrary if they lead us to League title glory Wenger will be praised and will be touted to continue as Arsenal manager for many more years to come. Considering that Wenger doesn’t bring in any other player and the current squad shines in the coming season and wins the title then that would boost the confidence of the current lot to perform well in many more seasons to come.
However if the current set of players fail to deliver then the fans would pressurize Wenger to bring in the necessary players immediately once the January transfer window opens. Few sets of fans may even go to the extent of abusing Wenger and calling for his head. Hence even Wenger would be in a serious jeopardy as to what should be done now. But nonetheless the current squad looks convincing on paper. Though we need another striker to support Giroud upfront and another defensive midfielder to support Coquelin, the current squad has players who can fill that void to an extent.
When we consider the striker’s position we have young players like Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell who can assist Giroud with the striker duties. Both these players represent their national side and have shone at the International level and look set to make it count at the club level as well. Though Joel Campbell looks set to leave us but if Wenger can convince him to stay and give him the confidence he needs he very well might stay.
On the other hand Welbeck is injured and still hasn’t featured in our pre-season matches. If he becomes fit on time and works really hard he can surely get a good run of cup games and league games. We also have our very own academy product Chuba Akpom who recently impressed in the pre-season’s Barclays Asia trophy which was held in Singapore last week to relieve Giroud of the added responsiblity. Adding to him we have English forward Theo Walcott who already has two hat-tricks to his name playing in the striker’s position. Hence Walcott can shine as a striker given the chance. So we have ample options to assist Giroud upfront even if a new striker isn’t brought in. Only time will tell whether these options are good enough to guide us to the title.
Now shifting our focus to the defensive midfielder’s slot, we are clearly short of a player who can assist Frenchman Francis Coquelin in the middle since Flamini is set to leave us for Galatasaray. However if players like the experienced Arteta and the young Bielik rise up to the occasion the current deficit can be overturned. Mikel Arteta who was injured and missed the entire second half of last season has now fully recovered and would be raring to play well once the new season begins. If he proves his mettle in the Emirates cup which is starting today he can very well play a big part in Wenger’s plans for the coming season. Arteta could hence assist and at the same time mentor Coquelin in the coming season and give him the much needed competition for the defensive midfielder’s slot if he impresses in the pre-season.
Next up we have Krystian Bielik. This highly rated 17-year old Polish midfielder might not have played an official Arsenal first team game yet but would be raring to impress Wenger in the coming season and cement his place in the first team for many more seasons to come. Wenger would love to see Bielik succeed and if he impresses in his first AFC senior team season itself, then he could very well relieve Coquelin of the burden of guarding our defence through the entire season.
Another player Wenger recently mentioned when quizzed about our defensive midfielders is our very own academy product and English International Jack Wilshere. He can play in any position in the midfield. Though he is known for his attacking prowess he can very well fit in the defensive midfielder role if the need occurs. However his performance will only decide whether he can cope up with the pressure of guarding our defence. But again only time will tell if we can win the Premier League title with the current set of defensive midfielders.
Though Wenger could still surprise us with the necessary signings at any moment in the current transfer window, the current squad also looks convincing to work wonders under club manager Arsene Wenger. Let us wait and hope that we finally win the league after a long gap of 12 years in the coming season under Wenger.