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Arsenal need more than Petr Cech to win the Premier League title

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Petr Cech is on the verge of completing a £10.9 million move to Chelsea's London rivals Arsenal.

Subsequently it's been suggested that the Emirates club will mount a serious title challenge with the Czech Republic international between the sticks.

It wouldn't be the first time that a player has dragged a team to the title, Robin van Persie did it for Manchester United when he arrived for the 2012/13 season, but can a goalkeeper really have such a significant impact?

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Former QPR manager Harry Redknapp told the Daily Mail: "It's a great signing. I think it's a massive signing. To have a top quality goalkeeper is massive."

You certainly cannot dispute that Cech is an exceptional goalkeeper and he is certainly better than those that are at the club. The only worry would be that he is 33-years-old now, however age is not such a problem for goalkeepers meaning Cech still has a few more years left at the top.

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However Redknapp, who left QPR in February, also went on to say: "I think Arsenal could now be the biggest challengers to Chelsea next season, particularly with maybe two more signings."

This is the reality of the situation at Arsenal. They have managed to bring in a top class goalkeeper but their business this summer cannot end there.

Last season exposed weaknesses in key areas of the team that need to be addressed if they are to seriously challenge for the title. Their rivals will be heavily investing this summer and Arsene Wenger must do the same if Arsenal want to keep up.

REPLACING MERTESACKER

The big German seems to firmly divide opinion. One minute he is being criticised, the next he is being praised. A defender who featured six times for the victorious Germany team at last summer's World Cup cannot be that bad a player.

However the truth is that Arsenal are going to have to replace him eventually. Mertesacker is 30-years-old now and at times he shows his age. While pace is not the most important trait for a centre-half there does come a point when you can no longer cope with the speed of the game in England.

Unfortunately the German is showing signs that this is happening to him. Despite this he still managed 35 league appearances for Arsenal in the last campaign, more than any other defender at the club. This suggests that he is still an important part of Arsenal's team.

Although he is still a capable defender, you have to feel that Arsenal could do better. There is going to come a point, sooner rather than later, when the mistakes in his game will outweigh the good that he does for the team. Wenger needs to make sure he's brought in an adequate replacement before this happens.

RAPHAEL VARANE (REAL MADRID)

Raphael Varane is a centre-half who has regularly being linked with a move to the Premier League. At 22 he offers plenty of experience while still being a long-term option for the Gunners. He would take some prising away because Madrid will be reluctant to sell due to the fact that both Pepe and Sergio Ramos are ageing now. However Madrid have been willing to negotiate with Arsenal in the past, for the right price.

EZEQUIEL GARAY (ZENIT)

Zenit Saint Petersburg's Ezequiel Garay is another defender that Arsenal could potentially turn to. The feeling is that the Argentine is wasting his career in a league that is below a player of his ability. His large salary may be keeping him at Zenit but he proved at last summer's World Cup and in the last campaign that he is a quality defender.

MATS HUMMELS (BORUSSIA DORTMUND)

Manchester United's pursuit of Mats Hummels does not seem to be advancing as quickly as some thought it would so perhaps it's time for Arsenal to sneak in. The 26-year-old German is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in world football and looks like the perfect replacement for Mertesacker. It would be a real coup if Wenger could snatch the player from under United's noses.

FINDING A NEW VIEIRA

When Patrick Vieira left the club in 2005 it left a gaping hole at the club. Here we are a decade later and that hole still hasn't been properly filled. Various players have been brought in to try and plug the gap but no one has managed to do it.

Francis Coquelin had an impressive campaign in the holding midfield role for Arsenal. The 24-year-old's emergence came as a big surprise to many. The Frenchman played 22 times last season and was regularly praised for his performances. However the responsibility of balancing Arsenal's midfield is a big one and the player needs a more experienced defensive-midfielder alongside him to aid his development.

The club already has a number of exceptional midfielders. However the majority of them are attack minded players who show a reluctance to defend. Arsenal's defensive midfield options are fairly limited. Abou Diaby's injury plagued Arsenal career came to an end this summer meaning they are one player down in that department.

Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are both over 30 now and neither are guaranteed long term futures at the club. Meanwhile Jack Wilshire's injury record means that he cannot be relied upon even if he does stay at the club.

MORGAN SCHNEIDERLIN (SOUTHAMPTON)

Morgan Schneiderlin seems like the obvious choice to partner Coquelin in the middle of Arsenal's midfield. The Southampton man has been praised for his performances over the last three seasons. He was heavily linked with a move away from St Mary's last summer but ended up staying at the club.

However this summer the feeling is that he will be on the move. The 25-year-old still has his best years ahead of him but can offer important Premier League experience. This means that he would not need to time to adjust when he arrives at Arsenal because he is already familiar with the league. Arsenal must act quickly though because Manchester United are also in the market for a holding midfielder.

WILLIAM CARVALHO (SPORTING LISBON)

The young Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates. The 23-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest young talents in Europe at the moment, meaning a number of clubs will be chasing him. Paying a fee in excess of £20 million would be a gamble for Arsenal, but it could be one worth taking. He is still developing but has the potential to be one of the best in the world in his position.

He has experience in both the Champions League and Europa League and has impressed at the U21 European Championships. There is nothing particularly stylish about him but he just might be the midfield enforcer that Arsenal are craving.

GRZEGORZ KRYCHOWIAK (SEVILLA)

Over in Spain, Sevilla's defensive-midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak had an excellent season. He was part of the team that achieved Europa League victory. He is highly regarded in Spain and has been linked to Real Madrid over the last few weeks.

Sevilla are said to be chasing Stoke's Steven N'Zonzi which has led to suggestions that Krychowiak will be on his way out this summer. The Poland international is reported to have a £21 million buy out clause which Arsenal should have no trouble meeting. This could make him cheaper than both Schneiderlin and Carvalho.

GIROUD WON'T WIN YOU THE TITLE

Oliver Giroud gets a lot of criticism, however much of it is unfair. The Frenchman is what he is, a strong, powerful striker who is good in the air. He is not blessed with pace and you cannot ask him to be something he his not. He doesn't have the skill set to be making darting runs in behind defenders so shouldn't be blasted for always wanting the ball to feet.

The 28-year-old definitely gives it his all when he plays for Arsenal, displayed through his tally of 14 goals last season. However the reality is that Giroud's best is not good enough and the popular belief that Arsenal won't win the league with him up front is true. He may still have a place in the team but a world-class striker is needed if Arsenal are to mount a title challenge next season.

KARIM BENZEMA (REAL MADRID)

It's been suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo will revert to the number nine position at Real Madrid next season. This puts Karim Benzema's future at the Bernabeu in serious doubt. It's unclear where he will fit in next season and he could well be on his way to the Premier League.

Arsenal's capture of Mesut Ozil two years ago should give them confidence that they can complete a deal for the forward. The Frenchman struck 15 goals in 29 games for Madrid last season showing that he fits the bill of a reliable striker.

At Arsenal he would certainly get more game time and be guaranteed of playing in his favoured position. The 27-year-old could really thrive at the Emirates and it's a deal that Arsenal should be looking to complete if they can.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE (LYON)

French striker Alexandre Lacazette is making a name for himself in Ligue 1. His performances during the last campagin have not gone unnoticed by Europe's elite clubs. The Lyon striker scored a hefty 28 goals to finish as the league's top goalscorer. To put it into perspective, that's more than Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott put together in the Premier League last season.

The French league is of course not at the level of England's top divison but anyone who is recording these kinds of tallies at just 24 must be a real talent. If the young striker could replicate his scoring feats in the Premier League then he could well fire Arsenal to the title. However if Arsenal want him then Wenger must act quickly because there will be no shortage of interest in the forward this summer. 

GONZALO HIGUAIN (NAPOLI)

If Arsenal are in the market for a reliable striker then the Argentine certainly fits the bill. Higuain has struck over 15 goals in each of his last four campaigns, an impressive achievement for any striker.

Last season he recorded an excellent total of 18 goals in the Serie A. The forward has been around for a long time but is still only 27-years-old which means he's still got a lot left to give if he makes a move. If he is managing in excess of 15 goals a season in an average Napoli team then imagine what he could do for Arsenal.

The club desperately needs a striker who can challenge the likes of Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot and Higuain would certainly be a good bet to do this. Again there will be a lot of interest in the player so Wenger should act quickly if he thinks Higuain is the man to inject some much need life into Arsenal's front line.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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