Through all of the gossip, it is an established fact that Wenger tried to sign Suarez and Cabaye last summer, which demonstrates two areas of the pitch where he thought we should strengthen, but only with the best quality players. His comments about having a busy summer but not needing many new players reads to me like he wants to complete those tasks. It is always pointless to think about whether Wenger will spend big on particular players – when the money is there, he is willing to spend it, but he also doesn’t see the point of spending it on whichever players are the fashion of the moment. He could spend Ozil-like money on a player or two this summer or he might not.
But it is certainly true that we have the resources available, so if there is a chance to sign important players, the funds ought to be there. And it is also true that we have reached a stage in development where we should be above all else ambitious. We are a big club, with big revenues, some excellent players and a great manager – we can and should be getting closer to the oilers and their ilk.
As for what we need, that’s where it gets tough. Not so much because of finances, but because we could end up needing to bring in so many players that the squad dynamics become upset by too much change. Which I guess is one reason why Wenger might refuse to allow a player like Vermaelen to go, despite the obvious justification for a player like him to feel he should move. Another factor might be Mertesacker: he was excellent in the first half of the season but looked more lacking after the new year.
To improve the squad, we need to keep the forwards we have and recruit at least one top quality attacking player, and I would like to think we might go for two (doubt it will happen). Draxler would be great, as would Balotelli. From what I’ve seen (not a lot), Griezmann looks good. Vela is intriguing, and looks a different player to when we had him before – I can’t believe he would really return but he always had talent, so perhaps.
The DM one is the other area we can see might need to be improved (Arteta slowing, Flamini not good enough). Scheiderlin would be the one I would want.
A priority should be trying to convince Sagna to stay – I’m sure every effort is being made, but it is a critical one for a number of reasons: having had a poor season last year, he has been very good this year (with some duff performances in the mega defeats though); he is our fourth choice CB; and Corporal Jenks, love him, but he isn’t close to being good enough to a first pick. Plus having to sign a top quality RB (Coleman, Alves) would cost a lot of money.
We will definitely need to make at least one signing at GK. I haven’t seen enough of Viviano, but perhaps we should sign him permanently to be second pick. Even if we do, will Martinez (on loan at Sheff Weds) be good enough to be third? If we did go into the market, David Marshall at now relegated Cardiff would be good, but who knows if he’d be available. And at CB, will we need a new fourth choice player? Hayden (as suggested), Miquel? Go back for Ashley Williams?
There’s a lot of good in our squad but it’s not good enough yet. The idea of Cesc coming back is a really interesting idea – the trouble is it would require re-engineering the side. We are now built around Ozil (at least to my eye) – could we really accommodate a double engine of Mesut and Cesc? Would it leave us too soft defensively? I would also think it would mean the end of Jack Wilshere being a Gunner – some might think that would be a good thing. Where is LB, by the way? :)
All in all, a lot of questions for this summer. More than I’d like, to be honest.
Written by 26may89