Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thinking to the future after Arsenal's FA Cup win

Moments after the dust has settled on Arsenal's (very nerve racking) FA Cup final win over Hull City, I'm already looking towards next season and how the Gunners can improved. The side could have won the Premier League season, after leading the table in February. Yet the team capitulated in the second half of the campaign, with the lack of recruitment and injuries seriously affecting our results.

Some of the current players will not be at the training ground in July. Emiliano Viviano, the Italian national goalkeeper, will return to his parent club Palermo after a season on loan, warming the bench. Kim Kallstrom will return to his original club Spartak Moscow. 

Other players will leave as free agents after not being offered or turning down new contracts. Lukasz Fabianski seems to be tired playing second fiddle to Wojclech Szczesny and decided to move on. Bacary Sagna doesn't seem to like his new contract terms and seems destined to join Manchester City. Niklas Bendtner has finally broken Arsene Wenger's patience and will be finding a new club this summer.

Other players need to be cleared out. Park Ju Young and Johan Djourou should be let go. Younger players such as Ryo Miyaichi and Thomas Eisfeld need to go out on loan, while others such as Serge Gnabry need to be played more. The only player I can't decide on is Abou Diaby. He just keeps getting injured and it is harsh to just eject a player just because of that. He has the ability to be a great box to box midfielder like Patrick Vieira but I honestly don't see it happening. 

So there are plenty of places need to be filled. A back up goalkeeper is required, even though we have Damian Martinez returning from Sheffield Wednesday. A right back is required, but one that will not stifle the development of Carl Jenkinson. I wouldn't mind seeing Micah Richards at Arsenal, although he did burn a few bridges by ridiculing Szczesny for posting a selfie after a win over Tottenham. Richards would also help cover the centre back position, which is another area the Gooners need to invest in.

I would like to get a specialist defensive midfielder in, as Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini seem a bit lightweight. Gareth Barry and Esteban Cambiasso are available on a free, so they could be options. Another player that has been touted is Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez, who is out of favour with Guardiola.

A pacy winger is required, as shown by the lack of options after Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain got injured. Jérémy Ménez and Angel di Maria are touted as possibilities.

Finally Wenger needs to get two strikers. Not just one but two. After Giroud, there is nobody we can count on. Sanogo is either crap or hasn't reached his potential. I have longed for Karim Benzema to come to the Emirates Stadium, as he can play out wide as well. Other strikers that haven been mentioned include Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Loic Remy,

Arsene Wenger has also been looking further ahead in time, with Rosicky and Arteta getting on. Lars Bender and Julian Draxler seem destined to come to Arsenal but they are not immediate priorities.

Wenger will have that kind of money that is required to spend on the 6-7 players he requires. It just depends if he is willing to spend it.

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