It's been a testing few years for the Arsenal faithful. Last season's FA Cup triumph delivered their first major trophy in nine seasons. For the past few summers, boss Arsene Wenger has been reluctant to delve into the transfer market with any real conviction, much to the frustration and dismay of Gunners fans. But, those days seem to be over.
Chile and Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez has arrived at the Emirates for a reported fee of over £30 million to become the clubs second most expensive acquisition after the capture of Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil for £42.5 million on deadline day last summer.
Whilst the Ozil signing was more a statement of intent rather than directly addressing his teams need, the same can not be said of the signing of Sanchez. Ozil's form was very much hot and cold during his debut season in English football, and whilst Sanchez can also be excused a settling in period to adjust to the transition, the Chilean has all the attributes to star in the Premier League.
Quick, direct and a regular source of goals, Sanchez can help relieve the burden on Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal forward line, a burden he at times seemed unable to carry.
With the likes of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Ozil providing the ammunition, Arsenal now have the attacking options to test even the meanest of defences. For too long Arsenal have been irrelevant in terms of title races, always amongst the top four but never really coming close to truly competing.
Strength in numbers
Of course, more additions are needed. The arrival of Newcastle full-back Mathieu Debuchy to replace the departed Bacary Sagna seems imminent. The fact that Debuchy kept Sagna out of the French national team at this summer's World Cup seems to indicate that could well be an improvement.
A lack of a true defensive midfield player has been a long-term issue ever since the departures of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva. The lack of midfield presence has caused problems for a side often described as having a 'soft under belly'.
It is an issue Wenger is reportedly eager to address, with rumours linking him with big money moves for German internationals Lars Bender and Sami Khedira. The addition of either would be a considerable upgrade on Mikel Arteta, the man usually trusted with the sitting midfield role and may well prove to be the final piece in the puzzle for Wenger's side.
Exciting season ahead
The coming Premier League season promises to be one of the most tight and highly anticipated in recent memory. Holders Manchester City, big spending Chelsea, rising Liverpool and a possibly rejuvenated Manchester United will all be looking to be at the forefront of the title race.
Whatever the coming season has in store for Arsenal, one thing is for certain. Arsenal fans can spend their current summer feeling rather more excited than they once were.
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