According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have seen a £25million bid for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney turned down. The Gunners reportedly have signing a new left-back as one of their priorities this summer. However, as former Arsenal star and Sky Sports pundit, Charlie Nicholas has previously stated, the Gunners need a whole new back four.
Koscielny saga has complicated recruitment
Arsenal needed to add defenders to their ageing squad this summer, there was no secret to that. They have needed to bring in defenders for a long time. Yet a lack of budget and seemingly lack of options has left the team from north London vulnerable at the back.
If the defensive situation was not bad enough at the club, captain Laurent Koscielny now looks set to jump ship. The 33-year-old refused to travel with the rest of the squad on the Gunners US tour.
The Frenchman has just a year left on his deal in north London. Reportedly he is angling for a move back to his homeland. Reports suggest he wants to move on a free, which looks unlikely to happen.
Even if Arsenal gets a fee for the centre-back, it is going to be a very small one. The Gunners are believed to only have a limited transfer budget this summer. Sad as it seems, Koscielny is still a vital player and the Gunners would need to replace him.
Arsenal will struggle to bring in enough defenders
The potential loss of Koscielny, coupled with poor and ageing defensive options is not good news for the Gunners heading into the new campaign. The Frenchman is coming to the end of his career and is not the greatest centre-back in the world.
However, such is the poor quality of the Arsenal defensive options, Koscielny is arguably the Gunners best defender when fit, which says more about the other defensive options than the Frenchman’s quality.
The Gunners will struggle to bring in sufficient quality defenders this summer to make a major improvement to their chances of success next season. Charlie Nicholas has a point about them needing a whole new back four.
Even the once highly-rated right-back Hector Bellerin produced inconsistent displays last season before picking up an injury. Greek centre-back Sokratis enjoyed a decent first campaign in north London but is by no means top-class.
Then you have the terrible overpriced Shkodran Mustafi, who always seems to have a mistake in him. That leaves Greek centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos, who reportedly Arsenal boss Unai Emery has doubts about. In truth, it is not a list that would inspire confidence in any set of Premier League fans, never mind ones hoping for their team to challenge for the top-four next season.
With a reportedly limited transfer budget, the Gunners are going to be unable to strengthen in every position they need to this summer.
Arsenal still have a chance of top-four next season
As crazy as it is, Arsenal still have a chance of a top-four finish in the Premier League next season. From the outside looking in, the situation does not look that bad for the Gunners. They finished just a point outside the Champions League spots last season.
The potential struggles of Chelsea through a transfer ban and Manchester United through lack of big additions and speculation over their current stars could be encouraging for Emery’s team. Arsenal are currently odds of 5/4 to make the top-four next season, the same odds as transfer-banned Chelsea.
Despite the positives for the Gunners, it is difficult to see them managing to finish in the Champions League spots this season, their just too poor defensively and the teams that finish around them last season will improve their squad, barring Chelsea of course.
Will Arsenal manage to bring in enough quality defensive reinforcements this summer to finish in the top-four?
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