This summer could be a very refreshing one for fans of Arsenal.
Gunners fans have become so accustomed to losing their best player each summer that they must dread when summer rolls around again.
Somehow, Arsenal again managed to finish in the top four last season, despite losing their star player from the previous season, Robin van Persie last summer.
This summer could see a sea of change at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are being linked with some big money signings this summer.
Arsenal fans will tell you that that is nothing new and that Arsenal have been linked with big names in previous summers.
However, it seems that this summer the Gunners may actually bring in some big name signings to complement their already very decent team.
The calibre of player that is being linked with Arsenal this summer is top draw. Barcelona striker David Villa has been linked with a move to the Emirates for the last couple of seasons, but it looks like this summer the move could finally come off.
The 31-year-old became frustrated at the perceived lack of respect and game time at the Nou Camp last season. Villa looks set to move on this summer, with the arrival of Brazilian superstar Neymar likely to restrict his game time even further next season.
Villa’s agent has revealed that there is interest from Italian club Fiorentina, but the striker does not have a preference between playing in the Premier League or Serie A. Wherever he goes it will be for first team football with Spain defending their crown at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
A player that looks slightly closer to joining the Gunners is Real Madrid and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain. His father Jorge Higuain told the Mail on Sunday that both the Gunners and Italian champions Juventus have made offers and talks are at an ‘advanced stage’.
The prolific Higuain is in a similar situation to that of Villa at Barcelona. The striker is very much underused at Real, despite proving to be a prolific scorer of goals when on the pitch.
Higuain has been very much a bit-part player at the Bernabeu in recent seasons, having to play a secondary role to French international Karim Benzema at times. Higuain is also desperate to play regular football prior to next year’s World Cup.
A move to either Juventus or the Gunners would be a shrewd one on his part. Higuain is the quality of player that Arsenal should be pursuing, the kind of player that will get the Gunners back amongst the big boys in the Premier League.
Then there is a certain Mr Rooney of Manchester United. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and shareholder Alisher Usmanov have talked about the possibility of signing the England international, but the deal looks like a hard one to complete.
However, the fact that Arsenal are being linked with signing the striker shows that the Gunners could actually mean business in the transfer market this summer, instead of signing second rate players, they may go for high-profile stars.
If Arsenal do manage to capture Gonzalo Higuain for example, then it is sending a message out to the rest of the teams in the top flight and their fans that Arsenal are not settling for just finishing in the top four anymore, but actually want to win silverware this season.
I mean last summer’s transfer activity turned out fine for the Gunners. Lukas Podolski made a decent contribution in his first season in English football, as did French striker Olivier Giroud, who looked like he was getting the hang of the English game towards the end of the season.
The standout signing of last summer for the Gunners was Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla. The 28-year-old shone like a beacon last season and at times, his performances were breathtaking. If all Arsenal’s summer signings do as well as Cazorla next season then Arsenal could be major players next season.
Arsenal are the only club that finished in the top four of the Premier League last season that will have the same manager in the new campaign. The managerial upheaval could help Arsenal be successful again next season.
However, for the Gunners to challenge for the Premier League title they will need to make some big additions. If reports are to be believed then Arsenal are heading in the right direction for improvement next season. Watch this space Gunners fans!
Which players would you like to at Arsenal this summer?