With the summer fast approaching, fans and the media are expecting a big summer clear out and a whole bunch of new signings heading Wenger’s way. Will this actually happen? Yes there will be a host of players sold but there certainly won’t be as many ‘top class’ players bought as anticipated.
The likes of Arshavin, Bendtner, Vela, Squillaci and Almunia are likely to be on their way, and they could well be joined by Chamakh and Park heading out of the Emirates doors but despite the cash injection from these inevitable sales and the hefty amount of profit made this season I don’t see many expensive players being brought. The summer will mainly consist of the Gunners being linked with Eden Hazard, Mario Gotze, M’Vila and some 15-year-old genius that’s tipped to be the next Fabregas, but pretty much none of these will happen apart from maybe the 15-year-old.
The only player that is almost definitely on his way to the Emirates is Lukas Podolski who will add real steel to the Gunners frontline. He will act as the natural replacement for Van Persie, but can also play out wide. Apart from the German superstar, it’s hard to see any other star midfielders or defenders being purchased, and here is five genuine reasons why…
1. The gruesome twosome
Vermaelen and Koscielny have become the most formidable partnership in the Premier League recently and it is highly unlikely that Wenger will splash out on another centreback, especially someone like Vertonghen, as the Frenchman has Mertesacker and Djourou that are capable of performing at the highest level too not to mention the youngsters Miquel and Bartley frothing at the mouth for some first team action.
The only way I could ever see Vertonghen heading to the Emirates is if Djourou is sold, but with the Swiss international recently signing a new contract it seems unlikely especially if he starts to show the form that he is capable of producing with Koscielny injured at present.
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Elsewhere in the back line there are two first team options for both left and right back in Sagna/Jenkinson and Gibbs/Santos. What happened this season injury-wise was simply unbelievable and hopefully (fingers crossed) it won’t happen again, but knowing Arsenal’s luck it will, but this doesn’t mean that we should have 3 top class left backs. The Gunners managed to make do (relatively) ok with the centrebacks playing out wide, that’s just what happens and that’s football. Look at Manchester United, they’ve had quite a number of high profile defensive injuries and they’re winning the League because they have versatile defenders/midfielders like the Gunners do, the mass injury list was nothing more than a horrible coincidence.
2. The return of the chosen one
Jack Wilshere will be like a new signing next season as he looks to replicate the impressive form he showed during his first campaign. The Englishman will add even more depth to the midfield that has finally found an influential trio in Song, Arteta and Rosicky. Ramsey has yet to live up to his huge potential but he will be a big player soon, and also the January signing of Thomas Eisfeld looks to add more quality to the attacking midfield lineup. Wilshere has the potential to play in the attacking midfielder role too if he can develop on his finishing, he certainly can provide the necessary assists.
So this begs the question, does Wenger need another midfielder? We also have Diaby returning although you can’t count on his long term fitness, but that’s essentially six (seven if you include Eisfeld) midfielders who are solid first team players and that’s not even including Frimpong and Coquelin which leads to reason three..
3.Coq’ & ‘Pong
The defensive midfield duo have big futures ahead of them and will be integral members of the first team next season. They both have shone when given opportunities this campaign, however they have been plagued by injuries that has prevented them gaining more game time.
While Frimpong’s writing raps with Lethal Bizzle during his lengthy seven month absence after doing his cruciate ligament in his other knee this time, Coquelin is edging closer to his first team return. Wenger will be eager to use the duo next season, so there is absolutely no way that Yann M’Vila will head to the Emirates next season as the Gunners have three defensive midfielders plus Wilshere and Arteta who can provide cover if needed.
4. The Ox & Ryodinho
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has become a crowd favourite already at the Emirates after bursting on to the scene with two goals in his first 2 matches for the Gunners first team, and has continued to inspire with his blistering pace and skillful footwork. Wenger has been reluctant to use the youngster recently as he wants to take a more cautious approach to prevent the Englishman sustaining any long-term injuries like Wilshere, who suffered from burnout last season and consequently has missed this season.
But the future is bright for ‘The Ox’ who can play in a variety of positions, even as an attacking midfielder as he did excellently against AC Milan in the victorious home leg, and he will be regular next season to provide plenty of competition for Gervinho and Walcott.
Ryo Miyaichi who struggled to gain any real first team experience at Arsenal has been making a real name for himself on loan with Bolton, scoring a sensational winner in the FA Cup recently and providing a series of assists with man of the match praises in the league. Loanee manager Owen Coyle has tipped the young Japanese winger to have as much of an impact as former Bolton loan star Jack Wilshere, and he will be an influential part of the Gunners first team if he can maintain the level he has been performing with the Trotters.
So again, do we need another new top class winger? The departure of Arshavin will certainly undermine the experience that we would have available but in terms of potential and class available already with the Gunners, the acquisition of Lukas Podolski may well be enough to cement a solid winger lineup.
5. Captain Van-tastic
Robin Van Persie has been THE player of the season, not just for Arsenal but in England. He’s been outstanding and rightfully leads the golden boot tally at the moment, but theres one issue that every Gooner is constantly thinking about and that’s whether the club captain and talisman will sign a new contract this summer or be sold. I personally believe he wil stay. Arsenal are a developing side that have the right ingredients to be title contenders next season, his family is settled and happy here, this is his first full season as an Arsenal player and he will be given a hefty pay rise, he will stay.
The 28-year-old should be leading the frontline again next season, but with the departures of Chamakh, Bendtner, Vela and maybe even Park, Van Persie will need another backup which will come from Lukas Podolski, but hopefully Joel Campbell will be ready to fight for a place next season if he can secure a work permit. But in the meantime I feel one other addition should be bought that can be a striker but play out wide if required which can be found in the form of Chelsea’s Solomon Kalou. He is a more intelligent version of Gervinho that can play as a centre forward and has a wealth of Premier League experience. The Ivory Coast international is out of contract this summer, so bring him in Wenger!
So there you go, 5 genuine reasons why Wenger won’t be spending big this summer and splashing the cash on Mario Gotze, Eden Hazard or M’Vila. Again, that’s not saying I don’t want him to bring any of these top class players in, but it’s just the reality of it all. Hopefully the summer sales will fund some more exciting talent to come in like Podolski, Kalou or Birmingham youngster goalkeeper Jack Butland, but for now lets enjoy the rest of the season as we look to continue opening the gap over fourth place dousch-bags Spurs. Here’s something else for your amusement, you’ve earned it: