Here’s a guest article from Anders Marshall from Canada. He thinks that we do need some players in the summer but not many as we’ve got one hell of a team. This is his first article so be a little lenient on him. Over to you Anders.
A Spot to Fill: Which Players Should Arsene Wenger Buy?
By Anders Marshall
As seasons come and go, many fans of Arsenal FC feel that with a little more money spent on proven talent and less on inexperienced youth, they would be adding more to the trophy cabinet. I’m definitely one of those fans. The problem is that Wenger is stubborn in his signings and doesn’t like to sign older, more expensive players. Despite these limiting factors, here’s a list of the top positions that need filling, and who could occupy them.
Absolutely no one. I know the last sentence was a bit misleading, but this point needs to be made. Since Lehmann’s departure, there have been endless cries to sign a goalkeeper, but Arsene Wenger stood firm. He chose to rely on Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski instead. In the short-term, it seemed like a horrendous blunder on AW’s part, but this season we have seen Fabianski flourish into a strong, calm goalkeeper who made very few mistakes. Unfortunately, he’s been lost to injury. Then came along Wojciech Szczesny, a goal keeper quite similar to Lehmann: good reflexes, shot stopping, and mad. He did very well on his debut against Manchester United only conceding once against Park Ji Sung, and has been the reason Arsenal haven’t lost more games. Position filled.
Similar to the goalkeeping conundrum, Wenger stood firm and didn’t sign anyone in the winter transfer window, despite rampant calls for a new centre back. This was understandable, with four centre backs already in the senior squad, Le Boss felt that he had enough talent at his disposal. With Tomas Vermaelen out for the season with a possible return for next, the back line will be very crowded. Of course there is an odd man out: Sebastien Squillaci. Squillaci has been poor at best for most of his first season at arsenal. He lacks pace and communication when he is paired with Laurent Koscielny. His departure would free up wage funds and add a small amount to the war chest. The most likely and most capable candidate for signing would be Mamadou Sakho. French, tall, young, and fairly cheap. He ticks all the boxes. He has great leadership qualities as well, captaining his side since he was seventeen. If Wenger could secure the Frenchman’s services, then qualms about defence would surely cease.
This is where Arsenal have been lacking recently, to our surprise. Without Cesc Fabregas in form, the team lacks ideas and pace in the build up. Signing someone like Eden Hazard or promoting Ryo Myaichi next season could work wonders for the front line, as well as selling Abou Diaby, Denilson, and Tomas Rosicky would give us more money for a tough holding midfielder, something Arsenal sorely lack at times when Alex Song is injured. Charlie Adam looks a likely candidate if he is allowed to leave Blackpool next season. He provides goals, strength, stability and calm to the back line and would be a vital asset for years to come at 25 years of age. Another attacking winger would ensure Samir Nasri gets a more central role, because he has proved to be a worthy replacement should El Capitan become injured. Fabregas has been known to be the most creative midfielder in the team, but right now the attack is looking slow and predictable. The most important thing to do is hold on to Nasri and Fabregas, and perhaps open up the pocket-book for Eden Hazard.
This line has always puzzled me. Robin Van Persie is arguably the best left footed striker in the world, but it’s too bad he’s injured for at least half of every season. Yet again, Arsene Wenger signed a fairly unknown player in Marouane Chamakh, but turned him into one of the best strikers in the EPL. While Chamakh was lighting up the stage along with Samir Nasri, RVP and Fabregas were waiting in the ranks to come back to the first team. At first they both seemed rusty. Then came the new year, which saw both players on fire with goals and assists aplenty. With RVP back in form, Chamakh was relegated to the bench. I don’t think a transfer in for a new player is absolutely necessary, provided tactics change for next year. Partner RVP with either Chamakh or Bendtner, giving us more height and heading ability. Position filled.
All in all, Arsenal are a great team who really deserve better, but are usually struck with injuries which results in mediocre players getting the start. With these new players added to the line up, Arsenal will have a new-found depth and skill in their squad required to win trophies.