On June 9, a circus will open across Europe. Footballers will turn their phones back on, and talk to their agents about possible moves. Most will hope the biggest clubs ring them up for a dream move. For fans, their few weeks without football talk will be over and will get fed more ridiculous stories about potential deals between their clubs.
As well as those praying for managers to telekinetically listen to them and splash the cash on superstars, said managers will be negotiating (in some cases, after getting permission from their superiors) with other clubs to find the right player, at the right price, at the right time, with the right salaries etc.
One of the most frequently talked about clubs in this media merry-go-round is Arsenal. Their squad never seems quite good enough for them to set the league alight.Over the past few years, it has been hit and miss for the Gunners, with the £35 million signing of Alexis Sanchez the standout.
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Still, the squad is close to being good enough to compete with Chelsea and Manchester City for the title. A few improvements can be made in weaker areas.
I have chosen the two positions that could do with some work.
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I will put this bluntly. Per Mertesacker has not got a lot of time left. He is a good player, but his ability is fading. Sooner or later, an upgrade will be needed.
Arsene Wenger's failure to address this issue last summer meant that a hasty signing had to be made in the form of Gabriel Paulista in January.
Coupled with the slow learning process of Calum Chambers and the Gunners are looking at potential defensive crises over the next few years. In order to be as realistic as possible I have based this on Wenger's 'Quality, not quantity' mantra.
Anyone who watched both legs of their excruciating defeat to Monaco will have noticed a bald head appearing on the screen every time Olivier Giroud touched the ball. That bald head belongs to Aymen Abdennour.
To FIFA players, this name is not new to you. The Tunisian international was dominant in their fixtures against the club he has recently been linked with. It is clear to see why,with his direct, strong approach working on a rarely challenged Giroud.
He would be a perfect Arsenal-type defender. Hard in the tackle, good reading of the game and fast, he would compliment Laurent Koscielny well in the heart of the defence, but in excess of £20 million, someone would need to convince Wenger to loosen the purse strings.
A long term weakness at Arsenal, it has recently been filled by 23-year-old Francis Coquelin, who came to the club at 16. Still, there is a feeling among supporters that question whether he is title-winning standard.
Personally, I believe that the position needs more depth. Regardless, of these opinions, there has been names that have been swirling around the newspapers.
A standout one of these is another Monaco player, Geoffrey Kondogbia. He has been linked with the club in Metro and Sunday Express. According to them, he would cost £25 million. Expensive, but worth it.
He has been in good form for Monaco and scored the opening goal during their defeat of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League last 16. He is very much in the mould of Patrick Vieira, who the Gunners have yet to adequately replace.
With his passing game, strong physique and good defensive work, he would help fill a void alongside Coquelin.
Arsenal fans: who do you think Arsene Wenger should sign this summer? Let us know below!
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