Arsenal’s squad is far from perfect and everyone is aware of that. We’ve seen a highly improved Aaron Ramsey, showing signs of becoming the best goalscoring midfielder in England. We all (well bar the media and some deluded member of the opposition) know Ozil can do. Adding to this, the consistency and solidness of the French-German centre-back duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
Although, the departure of key players still seems inevitable with Arsenal: BacarySagna left the club as a free agent, signing for rivals Manchester City. The Frenchman was an utter stalwart at right-back, playing a key role in defence. Another defender thought to be set leave the Gunners is Thomas Vermaelen, with Manchester United strongly linked with a swap move for the Belgian international.
The list continues as Lukasz Fabianski decided to experience a new adventure and first team football elsewhere. These three players were thought to be difficult to be replaced adequately in one summer, but fortunately for the fans, Wenger managed to get Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle in a £7-million deal plus add-ons, and reportedly being on the verge of signing the Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina who impressed in the World Cup for only £3 million.
The area between the two posts is looking all set with Szczesny as no.1 keeper, followed by Ospina and academy youngster Martinez. Another position looking secured is right-back spot with Debuchy considered as first choice ahead of Carl Jenkinson, and Hector Bellerin reported set for first team football next season.
The major void that needs to be filled remains the defensive midfield, and a third choice centre-back. Various names have been mentioned lately by the med including Sami Khedira, Morgan Schneiderlin or Lars Bender, all representing the ideal holding midfield option.
As for the centre-back spot, no concrete names on the surface as Thomas Vermaelen future still remains a mystery. On the question whether a new centre-back will arrive at the Emirates, Wenger replied:
“Maybe we’ll still bring one in” We might get a centreback regardless of Vermaelen’s situation.”
Considering it as a possibility, the market offers quite decent back up players that can cover perfectly the aforementioned position.
The latest rumours on social media involve Manchester City’s Matija Nastasic, a top-drawer centre-back who can make a huge difference on the pitch. Nastasic’s future at the Etihad Stadium is unclear due to the arrival of Eliaquim Mangala. A move to the Emirates would be a slight upgrade to Nastasic career, as he would get more playing time as a third-choice defender.
In my opinion, Toby Alderweireld reflects an ideal signing as well and would solve two potential problems for Arsenal. He was used as a centre-back when playing for Atletico Madrid, doing a great job in that position. It must be mentioned that at national level, he’s solely used as a right-back. Alderweireld would provide the same versatility as Bacary Sagna did; Wenger can utilise him in both centre-back and right-back positions especially if Jenkinson is truly going on loan as various reports would want us to believe.
The transfer market is active for 4 more weeks, and considering the stupendous job Wenger and the board have done since mid-July, the Arsenal fans can rest assured more signings are on their way.