Football

It's been another season of frustration for Wenger.

Arsenal fans can expect plenty of ins and outs at the Emirates Stadium this summer

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already begun planning for next season as he looks to build on what has been a disappointing campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

Three players all-but-certain to leave are Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, the ageing trio all free agents at the end of the season.

There is also talk of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seeking pastures new. The 22-year-old joined in 2011 but has progressed very little ever since, causing frustration amongst fans who are beginning to call for his departure.

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And it seems the Gunners have earmarked a potential replacement for one of the aforementioned midfielders in Switzerland international Granit Xhaka.

The highly-rated 23-year-old has been rumoured with a summer move in recent days, with Arsenal keen to secure a deal worth somewhere in the region of £20 million.

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However, the issue remains of where Xhaka would fit into Wenger's midfield, which currently boasts the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla. There's a sense that one of those five would have to be sold to make way for the Borussia Monchengladbach star.

What's clear is Wenger is building for the future, but considering the average age of the above five is 25-years-old, another young central midfielder might not be necessary.

One position that does need considerable attention is right-wing. Theo Walcott has underperformed for much of the season and could be sold, whilst Alex Iwobi is still largely untested and Joel Campbell blows hot and cold.

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Paris Saint-Germain's Lucas Moura was heavily linked with a move to north London throughout the winter transfer window but appears content with life at the Parc de Princes, whereas Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez is also a rumoured target.

The mesmeric Algerian would undoubtedly cost Arsenal a lot of money but following a hugely impressive season at the King Power Stadium could be the solution.

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What the Gunners need more than most, though, is a world-class striker. Names like Edinson Cavani, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata have been thrown around, but the chances of Wenger signing any one of them appear slight.

One way or another, the poor form of Olivier Giroud and inconsistency of Danny Welbeck should see Arsenal make a blockbuster signing going forward if they're to maintain a title challenge next season.

What fans can be assured of is a lot of transfer business this summer, yet there's a sense it could be another frustrating one given the many previous rumours that have failed to materialise. Only time will tell.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
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