It is a disappointing to think that this season may be same old Arsenal. We practically take ourselves out of the title picture, before putting a run together that comes too late to have much of an impact on the destination of the Premier League trophy. However, this season feels different.
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Our eight-match winning run will hopefully be extended until the curtain comes down on this year, thus providing us with some much needed momentum heading into the next campaign. And Arsene Wenger arguably has the best squad already available to him since the days of the Invincibles, nevertheless, we are under no illusions that we need add more depth if we are to get across the line in the near future.
In his column in the Daily Mail, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes that four marquee acquisitions could bring the title back to north London: Petr Cech, Diego Godin, Paul Pogba, and Karim Benzema.
The suggestion made by Carragher would give our side an almost completely new spine, and arguably undo plenty of the good work that has been done building this current side.
Whilst all four are great players in their own right, there is surely no way that they could all come in without upsetting the current balance of the squad.
Cech is seemingly the most likely member of the quartet to join, with the Daily Mirror suggesting that we are in the running to bring him in should he decide to leave Chelsea in the summer. The 32-year-old has been a fantastic servant for the Blues – having won almost everything in the game – but has lost his place to Thibaut Courtois.
He has proved when called upon, that time on the bench has not reduced his quality. He is practically as reliable as the day he arrived in England, having just guided his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2004.
If Wojciech Szczesny was still our number one, then Cech would certainly be an option that we just had to pursue. However, David Ospina has come in, and settled quickly. In fact, it is almost impossible to be critical of what the Colombian has done. To drop him once again would be incredibly unfair.
Of the four, Diego Godin is perhaps the man – when you consider the potential fees required to bring each of them to the Emirates – that makes the most sense. At 29, he still has plenty of years at the top level ahead of him. He has been a huge part of the revolution at current club Atletico Madrid, which has seen them win the La Liga title, and come within minutes of clinching the Champions League in the same season. Whilst Koscielny and Mertesacker are developing a solid partnership at the back, and Gabriel Paulista is becoming an equally useful option, there is arguably not so much after them in the pecking order.
Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy have both been used in the centre, but both have looked uncomfortable at times. Having a fourth top class central option is a must for next season.
However, one place we don’t look as if we need anymore depth is in the centre of the park. Defensively, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla have done an excellent job, sitting in front of the defence. Coquelin has protected the back four expertly since he was brought in, and Cazorla has looked unfazed, having to begin his meandering runs from slightly deeper.
In front of them, we arguably have the best front three in league in Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Ozil. As good as Paul Pogba is, is he worth the £75m that according to the Independent, it would cost to sign him? For that kind of fee, there would be a pressure on the Frenchman that would not allow him even the slightest amount of time to adjust to the league, especially considering he began his career with Manchester United.
Our system has worked perfectly with the three previously mentioned players sat just behind the lone striker. Olivier Giroud has excelled in that role, but there is no question that adding another striker is an important part of Wenger’s remit. Karim Benzema is the not the right person.
Giroud’s main weakness is arguably his lack of pace, which is the main attribute that tends to fall away with age. Yet he has already adapted his game to make sure that he is still a lethal marksman, and therefore can remain at the top of his game for another few years, meaning there is not a regular place in the side for the 27-year-old Benzema, and won’t be for a long time. A younger option ready to take the mantle in a few years would be a much more sensible approach.