Any Gunners' fan will beam from ear to ear at the mention of Alexis Sanchez, because he is now an Arsenal player.
In recent weeks, manager Arsene Wenger has also secured right-back Mathieu Debuchy and goalkeeper David Ospina, breaking away from his usual habit of deadline day signings.
In fact, Wenger has surprised friend and foe alike, by acting swiftly and decisively to bring in the players he wants. The three players he has brought in bring with them skill and experience, significantly strengthening the squad in key areas. Sanchez will bring pace and power to a lacklustre attack, Debuchy is a direct replacement for departed Bacary Sagna, and Ospina gives much-needed competition to Wojciech Szczesny for the number one spot.
However, if Arsenal wants to mount a real challenge for the title next season, these three signings are far from enough. Seven points off the pace last season, and with other big clubs splashing cash on star signings, Arsenal still need to spend more. At present, the squad is lacking in depth, with little cover in key areas.
In defence, Wenger signed Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle for a fee of around 7 million pounds. This gives him the option of rotating both his full-backs, with two senior left-backs available as well. Furthermore, young Spaniard Hector Bellerin is also available for selection. However, it is in the heart of defence where a lack of depth is most clearly exposed. In Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, Wenger only has 3 senior centre- backs available to him.
If rumours are to be believed, Thomas Vermaelen's "imminent departure" will leave the gunners defence horrifyingly shallow. With the sale of Johan Djourou, and few youth players available, Wenger even has little cover in terms of reserves. Therefore, signing a prolific centre-back is almost a necessity.
Potential signings: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Ashley Williams (Swansea City)
With Pepe and Sergio Ramos the preferred partnership at the Bernabeu, Varane may be itching for a move away in the hope of first team football. And given Wenger's fetish for young Frenchmen, Varane may well complete a surprise move to the Emirates. As for Ashley Williams, he is your typical big,strong centre-back, who will also bring leadership to the dressing room.
In the attacking half of midfield, there is no problem, with players like Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere all in contention. Wenger's rejection of Cesc Fabregas further shows that signing a creator is not a necessity.
However, it is in the engine room where there is slightly more concern. In the 2013/2014 season, Wenger rotated Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta in that position. With Flamini already 30 and Arteta 32, Wenger may not be able to keep them at the club for much longer. Even so, given their age, their playing definitely needs to be reduced. As such, signing a tough-tackling midfield general may be something of an option.
Potential signings:Victor Wanyama (Southampton), Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Of course Paul Pogba would be an ideal signing, but given his brilliant performances for both club and country, I fear he will be quite out of reach. Frankly, an unlikely signing. Instead, Wanyama may be a more plausible addition. Big and strong, Wenger may be able to get the young Kenyan, if the price is right.
Yes, we signed Alexis, and yes, we have Giroud and Sanogo, but personally, I feel that Arsenal's forward line could do with some fortification. At Barcelona, Sanchez played primarily on the wing. Therefore, his conversion to a out-and-out striker may not be altogether successful. Furthermore, given young Sanogo's profligacy in front of goal, a new striker would not be altogether bad.
Potential signings: Jackson Martinez (FC Porto), Divock Origi (Lille)
Two strong, solid strikers with a touch of pace, Martinez and Origi would be great additions to the squad.
However, after spending £32 million on Alexis Sanchez, and given Wenger's frugality, don't expect another signing in this area so soon.
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