Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he does not intend to completely overhaul his squad this summer.
The Gunners look set to once again finish in the top-four, as they currently sit four points clear of Everton in the race for the Champions League spots.
If Everton fail to defeat Manchester City in the game later today, then the Gunners may not even need to defeat West Brom in Sunday’s early kick-off.
Arsenal for so long looked like they were the real deal in the race for the Premier League title, but an inconsistent run of form from February meant that the Gunners were suddenly looking over their shoulders at Everton, who won seven games on the trot.
However, Everton have faltered in the last month with costly defeats against Crystal Palace and Southampton. In that time the Gunners have won three consecutive games and have virtually confirmed their place in the Champions League for next season.
Despite seemingly claiming a place in the top-four this season, the Gunners have suffered some very embarrassing defeats against their fellow top-four sides. Manchester City defeated Arsenal 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool hammered the Gunners 5-1 at Anfield, while Chelsea claimed a 6-0 victory against Wenger’s men at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal fans were understandably unhappy at those defeats and some were calling for Arsene Wenger’s head. The Frenchman has still not signed a new contract with the club, with Wenger’s contract expiring this summer, but the veteran Frenchman is expected to sign a two-year extension before the season finishes.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has talked about his likely summer business, he told Sky Sports: “At the moment I have people around me who start to look. It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close.
“We want to add something that makes us even stronger, but number-wise it will not be massive. From my experience the World Cup years have always been very quiet until the end of the World Cup, with no players reachable.
“Everybody is focused in the country on their national team and there is not a lot happening, people are away so I believe this year again you will have to wait until July 15 to start going.”
Arsenal will have to sign players just to keep the same amount of players in their squad for next season. French full-back Bacary Sagna is out of contract and his Arsenal future is in doubt, while both Nicklas Bendtner and Lukasz Fabianski will be leaving this summer.
Bendtner and Fabianski are not first team regulars, so they will not necessarily be missed, but Sagna has enjoyed a stellar season and will need to be replaced. There is also talk about captain Thomas Vermaelen leaving the club this summer.
Arsenal’s Premier League title bid was hampered by a host of injuries to key players this season, with the likes Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere all spending time on the sidelines this season. That is without mentioning Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby spending large chunks of the season out of action, in Diaby’s case the whole campaign.
Those injuries proved costly this season and the Gunners definitely need to bring in a number of players this summer. A replacement for Sagna, a new defensive midfielder and an extra striker seem to be the priorities this summer.
A new defensive midfielder would definitely improve the team and also help to prevent the sort of embarrassing results that the Gunners have experienced this season. Spaniard Mikel Arteta has just not been good enough and Mathieu Flamini has ultimately proved inconsistent.
France international striker Olivier Giroud has played almost all of Arsenal’s games this season and has struggled with tiredness at times. However, the Gunners really do not have an alternative, with French youngster Yaya Sanogo not proving good enough.
Arsene Wenger will know that the club will have to spend money this summer, a habit that the Frenchman has not found easy in his tenure in north London. As their start to the campaign proved, the Gunners are not far off the top teams.
However, to be true title challengers next season they will have to add real quality to their squad in key positions, if not then the Gunners will not progress in the new campaign and Arsenal fans will continue to be frustrated.
Does the Arsenal squad need a big overhaul his summer?