The 2015/2016 Premier League season is one that most Arsenal fans will not foget in a hurry.
Not because the Gunners finished second on the log table (not fourth) behind Leicester City but because Arsenal, yet again, failed to live up to expectations.
The Gunners were huge favourites to win the Premier League title during the time but failed to take advantage of the slip ups of the likes of Chelsea and both Manchester teams.
And even though finishing above Tottenham gives Arsenal fans something to brag about, the fact still remains that a lot of things need to be fixed during this transfer window if Arsenal are going to have any chance of challenging for titles.
If there was ever any time Arsene Wenger needed to splash the cash (the club announced cash reserves of up to £135.9m last year), it is this transfer window. The Frenchman is possibly looking at his last season as an Arsenal manager and will need to give the fans something to remember him by.
And with new coaches coming in at both Manchester clubs and Chelsea, Wenger will need to make sure he has a squad worthy of playing well.
So far so good, what has Arsene Wenger done to bolster his squad?
Arsenal stated their intentions by announcing the capture of Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach. The Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka became Arsenal’s first signing of the summer after joining for a reported £30m.
Xhaka is expected to fill the hole that will be left by the departure of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky who.left after their contracts expired at the end of last season.
This is a statement of intent from Arsenal as they seem get their business done early so that the players can gel together well before the season starts. But Arsenal will need more than one player to turn things around next season. Who will they need to get? What does Arsenal need?
Last season, Arsenal, with all the promise and all, was lacking severely both in defence and in attack. And a serious surgery is needed to make things better in these positions.
In defence, Laurent Kosciely needs a permanent partner at the heart of the Gunners defence, with both Gabriel and Per Mertesacker error and injury-prone.
In attack, Arsenal need a striker (or two) badly. Despite scoring 17 goals in all competitions last term, Olivier Giroud still managed to go on a 15-match barren spell without finding the net.
To be taken seriously as title contenders, Arsenal need to have a prolific striker up front who will rattle defenders. As usual several names are linked to the Gunners every transfer window. But who could join? With the situation at Arsenal, it is hard to see Arsene Wenger see past a move for a striker and a centreback.
Moves for Gonzalo Higuain has already begun, with Napoli ready to cash in on his reduced £47m release clause. On the other hand, Juventus’ Alvaro Morata , who previously rejected a move to the Premier League, is now also available.
Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante has also been heavily linked with a transfer to the Emirates but the arrival of Xhaka could quash that move. Names like Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg have also been linked to Arsenal.
With all these players coming in, some players have to leave.
After a terrible campaign for Arsenal’s frontmen, it is no surprise to see them at the top of the list of potential exits. Theo Walcott, who didn’t make a single league start in the last four months of the season is on the list.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injuries dashed hopes of a trip to France and could also cost him his place at Arsenal. The arrival of Xhaka, and the form of Mohamed Elneny could mean midfield positions are already owned for next season.
This could force Jack Wilshere to look somewhere else. Wojciech Szczesny has insinuated a desire to stay at AS Roma.
What Wenger has said so far:
“Stan Kroenke is completely behind myself and the board investing as much money as we want. It has to be in respect of a balanced budget, we have resources but the problem is finding players,” he said.
“Everybody has money in England and they’re all after good players. The good players aren’t legion, you have to be shrewd and be a little bit lucky.”