Arsenal have had a successful season by any standards. An FA Cup final to look forward to, as well qualification for next year’s Champions League, should mean that the nonsensical calls for Arsene Wenger’s dismissal should not be a feature of the summer.
But Wenger will be looking to strengthen his side and squad for next season in an attempt for an assault on the league title. Crashing out to unfancied Monaco in the round of 16 in this season’s Champions League was a major blow. Not many would have Arsenal down as serious contenders for the biggest prize in European football but the fans will be demanding an improvement on this term’s early exit.
So who is Wenger looking at to add to the squad for next season?
Arsenal have looked wanting in this position for a while. The original first choice but error-prone Szczesny was dropped midway through the season and although Ospina has impressed, rumours of Petr Cech joining from Chelsea just won’t go away. Another big name linked with the goalie position at The Emirates is Iker Casillas but if Wenger does feel that he needs to bring in a keeper it seems more likely that he would go for the one who already knows the rigours of the Premier League.
Virgil van Dijk
Arsenal’s defence has been criticised this season but Wenger has publically stated that he sees no need to bring in any new centre backs as there is more than enough cover for his first choice pairing of Koscielny and Mertesecker after investing in Paulista and Chambers last summer. But scouts have been sent to watch Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk and the Dutch centre back is keen to leave Scotland. But with other Premier League clubs sniffing around it would seem that he would be more likely to end up somewhere he could guarantee a starting spot.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez last season was a major boost to the goal charts and the attacking options of the club. Although Olivier Giroud has scored regularly in 2014-15 Wenger will need to enter the market for another forward. Real Madrid have said Benzema can leave in the summer and a move to the Emirates would be ideal for both parties. The impressive French attacker would benefit from the slick passing style that Wenger is famed for and Arsenal would get a striker that has an excellent scoring record.
Reports that the Liverpool attacking midfielder has been house hunting in the capital has been enough for some to predict a move to Arsenal is on the cards. With Sterling seemingly falling out of favour with Brendan Rodgers it is not inconceivable that the England international could return to his home city this summer. But Arsenal have an embarrassment of riches in the middle of the field and Sterling’s arrival would surely only be at the expense of one of the big names leaving the club.
Another midfielder linked recently with a possible move is Manchester City’s James Milner. The England international’s contract expires at the end of the season and it is known that he wants another challenge after five years in sky blue. Liverpool had looked the more likely to land Milner but his versatility impresses Wenger who could swoop in to bolster his side ahead of next season.
As with all close seasons there will be an inordinate number of players linked with Arsenal but Wenger is usually fairly reserved in the transfer market and openly critical of other clubs’ spending strategies so don’t expect a massive amount of arrivals. However, Arsene knows that if he is to get anywhere near his third league title and break the stranglehold of the more moneyed clubs in the division he will need to bring in some big names.