Arsenal have been the second most consistent team in the English game for over a decade.

However, they now find themselves in a barren run wherein they have not won a single trophy since their success in the 2005 FA Cup final. For a team of Arsenal's stature, this is simply not good enough.

Added to this, Arsenal's failure to win trophies has left them in the uncomfortable situation wherein their top players depart every year. Just taking the last two seasons combined, they have lost Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Alex Song - by far their most impressive performers in the recent past.

And, what more, qualifying for the Champions League seems to be getting tougher and tougher each year. To get themselves out of this conundrum, Arsenal need to buy - and buy big. And this season may prove to be their last chance to do so.

With the other major clubs set to invest heavily in their squads this summer, Arsenal face the danger on missing out on Champions League football unless they do so themselves.

Chelsea and Manchester City - who already have squads vastly superior than the one at Arsene Wenger's disposal are set to spearhead the summer spending spree. Tottenham also look good to trump Arsenal next season if they manage to keep hold of Gareth Bale and buy a top-class striker.

Liverpool also started to threaten towards the end of the campaign and stand an outside chance of spoiling the party. With this scenario in mind, Arsenal find themselves in the less than envious position of having to revamp their squad if they are to compete with the rest.

The biggest reason why this could indeed be Arsenal's last chance at once more establishing themselves at the top of the ladder is the fact that they have Champions League to offer to any of their preferred transfer targets this summer.

If they opt once more to wait it out and depend on their current squad, not only could they miss out on qualification to the elite tournament next year, but the absence of Champions League football may act as a deterrent for the best players from joining the Gunners.

The relatively small bargaining power possessed by the north London club could also well be a thing of the past in the event of missing out on fourth place.

However, if indeed Wenger decides to spend big, this season also provides the ideal opportunity to reshape his squad into the mould of the champions that they once were. The current crop of players in the Arsenal side are talented, but they lack the quality to win Arsenal the league.

But what these players do provide is a solid spine for Wenger to build upon. Wholesale changes are unnecessary, but a few positions are desperately in need of personnel. Depth in the squad was also found lacking last season, and this problem also has to be addressed with the acquisition of a few. Players such as Andrei Arshavin, Sebastian Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh need to be sold as well, so as to make room for the new arrivals.

The acquisition of a goalkeeper capable of providing good competition to current first-choice Wojciech Szczesny should be a priority, as the Pole's performances this season have been shaky after an impressive breakthrough season.

The acquisition of a world-class right-back is also imperative as Bacary Sagna looks to be on his way out of the club and Carl Jenkinson is not yet at the level where he can match up to the best in the sport.

Another position which is badly in need of extra personnel is defensive midfield. With Abou Diaby perennially injured and no other players available who are even remotely capable of providing any steel in front of the defence, Wenger has had to repeatedly resort to using Mikel Arteta in a deep-lying role wherein he has the dual responsibility of providing invention to the midfield as well as shielding the defence.

This has been a less than ideal solution with Arsenal looking shaky against better opposition.

A world-class striker should also be on the Gunners' shopping list this summer as none of Olivier Giroud, Gervinho or Theo Walcott have been able to make the position his own - irrespective of numerous chances given.

As evidenced by the effect the arrival of Robin van Persie has had on champions Manchester United, or that Michu has had on Swansea City, a world-class striker adds more than just goals to the side - he has the capability to change the whole dynamic of the team. This is why Arsenal need to be looking at an already established international quality striker - and not just the most exciting kid down the block.

Arsenal look all likely to finally spend big this season, with the likes of Stevan Jovetic, Yaya Sanogo, Maxime Gonalons, Gonzalo Higuain and Ettiene Capoue all being linked to the Gunners.

If indeed they do follow up and complete these transfers, the Gunners will in all likelihood return to the times when they were among the best in the country. But if they do not revamp, they do so at their own peril.

 

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