Arsenal have done some terrific business so far securing both Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez both of whom, I’m sure will prove to be key additions ahead of the coming campaign. However, most of us are aware that a couple of additions are still needed to really make our first team a force to be reckoned with.
Both of those positions are in midfield and up top. In an ideal world, it’d be great to get two top players in each position but realistically ,I’m sure we all know that we won’t break the bank for both considering we spent a considerable amount on Sanchez (£35 million) and more than expected on Debuchy (a reported £12m).
I can strangely still imagine Arsenal spending £20 million upwards on one more player but I believe that will be the limit – just one more player. This raises the question, if you had to choose, which position out of the two would you rather see big money spent on?
I’ll get the ball rolling with my opinion suggesting that I’d rather see a top defensive midfielder signed. I know we’ve needed a top striker for quite some time now ever since a certain Dutchman departed and I fully agree with that as we all know goals win games.
I have chosen a defensive midfielder however because I think we’re weaker in this position than anywhere else. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are the main options for us in this position and quite frankly, both need to be upgraded on as they are ageing.
Too often we have been overrun in midfield in the big games and have rolled over far too easily. For all our class and technical ability in the middle of the park, we are still lacking physically as we’re yet to be dominant in this area, possessing a player that compliments those technicians by doing the dirty work.
We’ve certainly improved our attack all round with the signing of Sanchez and Joel Campbell possibly getting an opportunity at the club. Don’t forget we have Theo Walcott to come back meaning he joins our already stacked attacking department containing Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Campbell, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo and of course, Sanchez.
In midfield, as physical/defensive options go, we have Arteta, Flamini, Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby – a lot more underwhelming and it would be a Godsend for the best option of these to remain fit throughout the season – Diaby. He improves the side an awful lot when he’s involved but we all know we can’t trust him to stay fit and if we were fortunate enough to keep him available, I’m sure he’d have to be managed very carefully, meaning he probably won’t be able to provide the 35+ starts we need from a player in this role.
We could certainly still address both positions but it’s highly unlikely we’ll get top bracket in each. I’m still very keen on Sami Khedira despite all the random speculation surrounding him at the moment. As well as ability, he’d bring much needed mental strength and a winning mentality to the team.
I’ve already given my opinion on why he’d be my first choice but other good options that could possibly cost near or beyond £20m would be Morgan Schneiderlin, Lars Bender and maybe Luiz Gustavo, who I’m quite fond of. I’d be pleased with any of those options, some more than others of course, but we would have addressed a key weakness particularly well.
Who knows? We could offload a few players (Podolski or Coquelin?) and still and get top bracket in both positions but it seems that Arsene Wenger wants to keep the group together this summer and that makes sense as the squad are on a high at the moment. Securing those options I mentioned in midfield and then bringing in a decent striker would enhance our chances significantly and I hope the club works towards this.
Lastly I’d like to comment on Giroud who is currently our first choice striker who many believe need replacing. I agree that he can be frustrating the majority of the time and probably won’t reach the great heights some of his predecessors have, but with the right personnel around him, he could prove very useful for our system. I think he needs at least two of those attackers I listed beside him every game to be at his best.
He’ll compliment all of them by bringing them into play, utilizing his deft one touch passing, his aerial presence and hold-up play. This would also ease the goalscoring burden on him therefore, seeing a much stronger player in him. This is why I believe that replacing him is a much lower priority than replacing our midfielders. Don’t forget on top of all this, we still need a back-up keeper and a maybe another defender, two if Thomas Vermaelen departs.
Of course if we did break the bank for a top striker only, I wouldn’t complain but I’d need all of you guys to collaborate with me in prayer that Diaby can surprise us and stay fit all year!
What would you rather spend big money on?
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