Although the European Championship and Copa America are taking centre stage this summer, it has not stopped the considerable flow of transfer news and rumours that suggest numerous clubs are looking to spend big. Arsenal are among those who may look to the transfer market in order to improve their chances on the pitch, with the Gunners finishing runners-up behind surprise champions Leicester despite not being at their best.
Arsene Wenger’s side pipped fierce rivals Tottenham to second spot in perhaps the only silver lining from their Premier League campaign, as Arsenal failed to capitalise on the opportunity presented to them by the other big teams who endured indifferent seasons. Complacency and untimely injuries ultimately proved to be Arsenal’s downfall, but the latter could be addressed this summer if Wenger is able to strengthen the quantity and quality of players at his disposal. Doing so would not only enable the Gunners to have the players to step in when injuries and suspensions occur, but also make the team even stronger in key areas to stand a better chance of succeeding in a league in which the quality continues to rise. Coral believe Arsenal are among the strong favourites to win the title in the latest football odds, but their chances will improve if Wenger is able to bring in high-profile players during a summer in which Arsenal may spend big.
Granit Xhaka is the first to arrive at the Emirates, having agreed a deal that could rise to £30 million from Borussia Monchengladbach before the start of Euro 2016. Arsenal fans have already been impressed by what they have seen from the club’s new signing during impressive performances for Switzerland, with Xhaka arriving at a crucial time; Wenger’s decision to release Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini made it imperative that he found adequate replacements in midfield, although Xhaka may not be the first midfield signing. Another transfer rumour to feature on Coral’s sports news section has suggested that Arsenal are lining up a move for versatile Dutchman Daley Brind who appears surplus to requirements at Manchester United following Jose Mourinho’s arrival. The 26-year-old would represent a fantastic signing, with Blind able to play at centre-back, left-back or in a holding midfield role – three areas in which Arsenal have been thin on the ground in recent seasons. Blind would likely be valued as an excellent holding midfielder to compliment Xhaka and Francis Coquelin, but Arsenal could still do with an experienced head in front of the back four to lead by example and break up attacks to put the team on the front foot.
There is an underlying feeling that Arsenal need to add more firepower this summer, with Olivier Giroud the only genuine striker that Wenger had to call upon last season. Danny Welbeck’s injury-hit campaign, along with Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott enduring disappointing seasons, left the team without the necessary firepower to keep pace with Leicester at the Premier League summit, with Giroud failing to break the 20-goal barrier once again. Wenger has made a big-money for Leicester and England star Jamie Vardy, but as the deal appears less unlikely to happen as each day goes by, it may be time for Arsenal to look at other alternative. Alvaro Morata and Stevan Jovetic are two names that have cropped up in recent weeks, with the former likely to excite fans more than the latter who never really established himself during a two-year stint at Manchester City. It would take a considerable bid for Arsenal to bring Morata to the Emirates, especially if Real Madrid exercise their buy-back clause for the Juventus star; his two goals in Spain’s 3-0 victory against Turkey at Euro 2016 further enhanced his reputation as a good quality striker with plenty of ability, but it remains to be seen if Arsenal are willing to become embroiled in a bidding war.
Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Gotze and Daniel Sturridge have also been linked with moves to Arsenal by variable newspapers, and although it would take huge transfer fees to prize any of them away from their respective clubs, it is the sort of calibre that Arsenal need if they want to enhance their title chances. Gotze appears the most likely of the three to move clubs this summer, with the Germany star representing a wonderful signing if Wenger was able to pull it off. Some may argue that Arsenal should also focus their attention on bringing in top quality defenders to become stronger in every department, but having extra firepower with the likes of Gotze would certainly not go amiss in a summer where Arsenal may look to splash the cash.