The cheapest season ticket at Arsenal costs £1,014, which is more expensive than any other football club’s. At Bayern Munich, it costs £104. Now, can you imagine how the anguish Arsenal supporters felt after Bayern tore Arsenal apart in this year’s Champions League Round-of-16, with an aggregate score of 10-2? Or against Manchester United in the 8-2 drubbing? Or in Arsene Wenger’s landmark 1000th game as Arsenal manager, when Chelsea embarrassed his side 6-1? Or Arsenal’s recurring faltering Premier League and Champions League campaigns since the glory days of the Invincibles? It’s no secret that even if Wenger were to leave the Emirates at the end of this season, Arsenal wouldn’t be considered serious title contenders unless there are some major overhauls in the current squad. It’s high time the club’s hierarchy answers the fans’ chronic calls for spending money to bring in quality players and let go of Wenger’s “We don’t buy superstars, we make them” policy. Here are some positions which are in need of reinforcements at Arsenal:
There’s just one defender in the current Arsenal squad capable of being called world class: Laurent Koscielny. In 103 minutes in the two legs against Bayern Munich which the Frenchman played, Arsenal lead 2-1, While in the 85 minutes when he wasn’t on the pitch(due to sending off), Arsenal trailed 9-0. Now that’s some impact. The Gunners have conceded 31 goals so far in the Premier League, which is the second highest among the top seven teams. Other center backs have been shaky to say the least, with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, who was brought in last summer to bolster the defense, and Gabriel Paulista, failing to live upto fans’ expectations.
Potential Signings: Kostas Manolas(AS Roma), Aymeric Laporte(Atletico Bilbao)
Arsenal’s fullbacks have been inconsistent throughout the season. They have got Héctor Bellerín at right-back, but he’s hardly given notable performances, and they don’t have a quality right-back to back him up. At the left-back position, the likes of Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal seem well past their best days. They are being easily troubled by opposition wingers, and hardly play any role while attacking. This department needs thorough overhaul, if Arsenal want to be menacing down the flanks.
Potential Signings: Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Ricardo Rodriguez(VFL Wolfsburg).
One major shortcoming that has come to the fore in recent times at Arsenal is the lack of leadership in the squad. There’s no one in the current Arsenal squad(except for Alexis Sanchez) comparable to the likes of Patrick Viera or Roy Keane , someone who can give the squad an earful and encourage them to fight in the toughest of times. Though the Gunners have depth in central midfield, none of them has shown the temperament required to control the game in the middle of the park. None of the players have firmly filled the void left by the departure of veterans Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta. Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey haven’t been playing at their true potential, while Alex Iwobi and Mohammed Elneny haven’t been reliable either.
Potential Signings: William Carvalho( Sporting Clube de Portugal), Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen)
Manchester United have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester City have Sergio Aguero, Chelsea have Diego Costa, Spurs have Harry Kane, who’ve Arsenal got to boast about? They have been missing a prolific goal-scorer ever since Robin Van Persie left. Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud have miserably failed to establish themselves in front of the attack(both of them combined have scored just 9 goals this season), forcing Wenger to play Sanchez as striker. Wenger has shown that he isn’t reluctant to splash the cash on players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, both of whom cost £42.5m and £35m respectively. If they manage to get player who can score atleast 20 goals per season, Arsenal will be a force to be reckoned with.
Potential Signings: Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)