Arsenal have had a solid season, they managed to secure the last Champions League spot after tough competition from Everton and Tottenham.
They had a great start to the season and were in great stead to mount a title challenge but as the season progressed we saw them slip further and further away from the top of the table. That being said they finished only seven points away from the winners, Manchester City, which is not something to overlook.
Questions were also raised about Arsene Wenger's ability to continue as manager mainly due to his ideology of developing young talent rather buying experienced players. However, it has recently been announced that Wenger has signed a new contract to stay with the Gunners until 2018 and it has been reported that he plans to spend big this transfer window after being handed this new contract.
This article will look at the current squad and identify its strengths and weaknesses that it holds rather than speculating on potential transfers.
GK - Wojciech Szczesny has had a good season, not spectacular, but good. For the most part he has been solid and dependable in goal and finished the season with a respectable 16 clean sheets. However, with Fabianski set to leave the club question have been raised over whether Viviano is capable of filling the slot. The common practice is to use the reserve goalkeeper to play in the domestic cup matches in order for the first choice goalkeeper to have a rest and so this reserve goalkeeper must be of a reasonable level.
RB - With the expected departure of Bacary Sagna there is a slot open for a new right full back. There are two options for Wenger to resolve this problem - trust Jenkinson to step up or to purchase someone new. Jenkinson has played well this season but has not shown that he is able to compete at the same level as the rest of the team and so may not be a reliable player in the next season.
LB - Arsenal have this position well covered with Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal. Gibbs is an exciting talent at only 24 and has the potential for being the Arsenal left-back for the foreseeable future and Monreal, at 28, will provide a good alternative.
CB - With Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal have the centre back position well covered. All three are worthy of being first team players and so Arsenal have the luxury of playing those who are in good form. One potential issue is that Sagna has been used as the fourth place centre back and so with his likely departure this will have to be addressed, especially with the unpredictability of football regarding injuries.
CDM - This was the downfall of Arsenal with regards to the title race in my view. The lack of a disciplined and reliable defensive midfielder any team faces difficulty - Manchester City have Toure and Liverpool have Gerrard for example. Flamini and Arteta are the two key players for this role and although they have their strengths they lacked the skills to hold the team together when times were tough. I am sure this position will be one of Arsene Wenger's key concerns and where a large part of the transfer budget will be spent.
CM - Arsenal suffered a great deal with injuries with this position with their key players, Wilshere and Ramsey, both having long periods out. Although this problem has been experienced with other teams as well and so cannot be held responsible for drop in position. However, this area is one of Arsenal's main positive features with young exciting talent emerging into top quality players capable of playing at the highest level.
CAM - This is the other main positive aspects of Arsenal. With Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and the record signing Mesut Ozil provide incredible attacking features which have proved unstoppable at times. The interaction between them and the central midfielders provide Arsenal with great attacking prowess and so there is no need for change in this department, at least not this summer.
RW/LW - I have combined these two positions as they often switch around in the modern game and so it is hard to place players in the separate categories. This is another area where Arsenal has ample cover with Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all looking for first team action Wenger is spoilt for choice with regards to attacking options.
ST - This is another big concern that Wenger has to deal with. Although Giroud has performed well for Arsenal the issue lies with the back-up. This season has shown this deficiency when Giroud has been unavailable as Nicklas Bendtner not performing to a high enough level and Yaya Sanogo not yet showing his true potential it has left the Gunner missing the final element needed to finish off matches.
With the addition of a few top quality players the future looks bright for the Arsenal squad with a predominately young squad with a few experienced players to hold the squad together they have a good mix which will allow them to once again challenge for the title.
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