To first grasp the concept of this article, we should cast our minds back to the end of the summer transfer window last year. Most Gooners would have felt tremendous disappointment when we failed to build on the squad. Many pundits didn’t even give Arsenal a chance of finishing in the top four, especially with the lavish spending of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Then along came Mesut Ozil.
Fast forward to May the following year and you would be astonished at our season. We have had our first major title challenge since the 2007-2008 season and, most crucially, we won our first trophy in nine seasons. That really is a huge weight off our back and we can push on next season to get closer to the league or perhaps even get the fabled champions league trophy that all us Arsenal fans have been crying over since 2006. Perhaps most crucially, next seasons squad will have new editions.
Our manager of 18 years Arsene Wenger is now set to sign a new contract which will pave the way for new additions to the squad this summer. It is easy to underestimate the value of stability which comes with Wenger, as his vast experience that he has collected in his 30 years of football management will always be crucial during any season.
The Daily Mail are reporting that Arsenal will have a transfer budget in excess of £100,000,000 this summer. This will help strengthen the squad to an extent that it is capable of realistically challenging on all four fronts. Football really is now a squad game (which is one reason I predict Liverpool not to do so well next year) and although I believe that we have significant depth in many positions, we can always improve our first eleven and have more competitiveness for places in the squad.
The trophy appears to have given Wenger a new lease of life and the 3 year deal ensures that he will not be going anywhere any time soon. So – will Wenger finally spend some money?
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The Daily Mail certainly think so, with it naming many players who have been identified as targets by Wenger, including Benzema, Mandzukic, Bender, Schneiderlin, Aurier, Richards and Chambers. Needless to say, it would be foolish to assume that all those names will be at the London Colney come September, but it does give some idea of the sort of players being targeted this summer
I think this very well could be the summer of change. Wenger is no fool, and will realise that we are closest we have ever been to a league title since the magical 2003-04 season. He will realise that this squad is the best we have had in years and he will have a fantastic chance to improve on this season with a good summer transfer window. Wenger must realise that if he strategically strengthens certain areas of the team, making up the 7 point gap between us and current champions Man City will not be an impossible task. Last summer, Wenger broke the clubs transfer record by £27.4 million to bring Mesut Ozil to the club, which proves he is willing to spend the money.
However, we should remember that we have heard this before, in 2012 and 2013. Maybe though, this time will be different – what would football be without a little belief!
So Gooners – do you have faith in Wenger to spend this vast budget?