Will this year be Arsenal's year?
This has been the question posed at the start of every season for the last 12 years since they last won the Premier League back in 2004.
Throughout this period, fans have been hopeful that long-term manager Arsene Wenger would once again deliver the goods of the old days, but every time, they have been let down.
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Most pundits have decided that in recent times, the main brunt of the problem has been the manager's inability to find a consistent striker who will score 20+ goals a season.
Since Thierry Henry, the Gunners have depended on mainly the big Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who, although has shown flashes of form, has never found his prolific groove.
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It looks like Wenger will finally be solving this problem, looking to add Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, who had a brilliant season for his club. With the possible addition of the Frenchman, Arsenal can rely on him, Giroud, Danny Welbeck, and even Theo Walcott to lead their line.
So, will this year be Arsenal's year? No.
It won't because a striker is no longer their biggest problem. The issue is not in forward areas, or even in midfield, where Wenger has added Granit Xhaka, it is the core of the Gunners, the defence, where Wenger has overlooked a flaw.
At right-back, Wenger's side are well covered, with young Hector Bellerin looking to continue improving in the starting lineup, and equally young Calum Chambers a suitable replacement. It is a position for Arsenal that will only become stronger and stronger as time goes on.
The core of the defence is the problem, and the main source of the problem, age.
Per Mertesacker was a brilliant defender in his prime, however, now at the age of 31, he is losing his remaining pace, and at times, can be run ragged by Premier League attackers.
The alternative for Arsenal is Gabriel Paulista, the athletic, strong defender. He has all the attributes to be an excellent defender, but much like Eliaqium Mangala of Manchester City and Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool, the Brazilian suffers from looking incompetent and spreading panic through his team.
In all three defenders named above, is a player who can make the most difficult things look simple, but equally, can make the most basic things look a serious burden.
It's not that they are bad players, but when they are on the ball, their teammates get worried, and the opposition looks for mistakes. If Arsenal want to secure a title from their rivals, they will have to find a more suitable defender.
The other centre-back Laurent Koscielny is a quality, experienced, player, who will be a key part of any title challenge for the club. However, at 30, his athleticism will be put under pressure due to the abundance of pace in the Premier League.
There has been no speculation connecting the club with a new defender, and although fans will enjoy the links to the potent forward Lacazette, it may be a case of one problem being solved, just as a new one forms.
Should Arsene Wenger turn some of his attentions to his defence? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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