In the past seasons many fans have become accustomed to the collapse of Arsenal’s challenges at the turn of year in most football season, while many have adduced different reasons why this is so, the key point that a large percentage of persons would agree on has been a lack of dearth in key areas of the squad. Arsene Wenger’s reliance on a particular set of players because of lack of trust in the second team has not helped either in that time.
But something is currently going on!
The way the club has set out it stalls in the transfer market means it is committed to improving not just the first team, but the reserves. Already going by the players that have joined in Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy together with impending sign ins, it means the club has added some dynamism to it squad for the coming season in terms of pace and attacking verve in attack, and competition in the goalkeeping department. With these additions, those that were first team players last season might have to settle for being part of the overall squad of the team, which would improve the depth the squad has. Players like Mikel Arteta and Oliver Giroud who have been pivotal first team players in the last two seasons could become just squad players thereby creating a deeper squad.
But, this improvement has not been restricted to the first team as the move for several players have shown there are intentions to improve the quality in the reserve squad following their disappointing performance last season. Already the club has signed Finnish goalkeeper Hugo Keto, Ben Sheaf from West Ham and Georgios Spanoudakis from Barcelona.
Now there are reports that Arsenal are still looking to strengthen it reserve further by moving for Barcelona Academy goalkeeper Andre Onana. With these signings the U18s and U21s are expected to improve on their performance this season.
The importance of squad depth has been over flogged after Arsenal’s seasonal demise in several seasons. In spite of the signings coming in, there are still fears that the club could still fall short in key areas of the squad despite the overall improvement. No more so than in central defence and in attack. The signing of a centre half should not be depended on the departure of Thomas Vermaelen. Arsenal has been in need of one since last season. The dearth in that area was shown by Arsenal’s lineup in the pre season friendly against New York Red Bulls where Ignasi Miguel and Nacho Monreal played in central defence.
The much touted squad improvement would not have been fully achieved in this window if there is no signings in centre half, holding midfield and in attack.