In the earlier part of this featured article we had a look at what Arsenal and Wenger should do to get back among the trophies and in this part we are going to have a look at what needs to be done in the transfer market this summer.
Transfers in the summer.
This is a subject that has colonized football journalism almost in its entirety. While I am not a big fan of transfers, as a fan of the club it is always pleasing to know that the club has bought a player of undoubted talent. However, it is important to remember that strengthening a squad numerically may , for all we know turn out to be a disaster. Manchester United bought more players than any other team in the top 4.
Back in 2013, Tottenham bought 9 players from the sale of Gareth Bale, while Arsenal announced, to the surprise of everyone, the 42.5 m pound signing of Mesut Ozil, and it was not he who hit the headlines for Arsenal that season. Rather, the year ended with another player being named the player of the season, a player who was attacked frequently for not being up to the mark: Aaron Ramsey.
Amongst other things, one of the reasons Aaron Ramsey had an outstanding season last year was the strength in quality offered by Ozil. Arsenal finished above most clubs who spent more than them in the window. There is little doubt that Ozil improved, on his arrival, several players around him. The same can be said, in a slightly different sense, of Alexis, whose partnership on the left with Nacho Monreal has seen the Spaniard become Arsenal’s first choice left back.
With this backdrop, I would think that Arsenal’s chances of winning the league with the right additions could increase tenfold. In my assessment, I have little to no idea who will come in and who will not, or who ‘should’ come in or who should not. We may recall that Mesut Ozil’s transfer to Arsenal did not feature in any column around the world till the last day of the window. In fact, it was Gonzalo Higuain, the much forgotten Yann M’Vila, and towards the last few days, Angel Di Maria whose pictures filled in columns all over the internet linking them to Arsenal.
We could guess that a similar thing might happen this window, especially as Arsenal do not seem short in numbers, if not quality, in any position. At this point the only player I would personally love to see in the Arsenal line up would be Arturo Vidal, but we all already know that Juventus will probably never sell him. A midfielder with the knack of covering most of the pitch, someone capable of playing equally well in defence and attack, whose primary attribute could be that of a fighter, like Chamberlain or Coquelin, someone who stops the opponent from playing their game, would definitely add something special to this squad.
Additionally, if Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby will leave this summer, an addition in midfield would not hurt anyone. Lastly, as far as other positions go, I don’t think we need another striker. A striker would mean that Arsenal would have about 10 players ( 5 strikers and 4 midfielders) fighting for a place for 3 positions and 13 if Podolski, Sanogo and Campbell return for next season. I need not do the math further, but it is clear that the squad would be flooded with attacks. Whether Arsenal need a centre back and a goalkeeper, would depend entirely on the form of young Calum Chambers and long-time number one keeper, Szczesny, who I think played very well in the FA Cup Final.
Unlike most transfer windows that Arsenal have passed by, it is ironic yet to some extent true that it is not ‘buying’ new players that need be the answer to the title challenge next season. A balanced equation, between making the right additions, and the right approach to the game, tactically at the least, for sure, would ensure that the title comes to Holloway.
What do you say Gooners?