After another season without a trophy for Arsenal, perhaps this summer will be the one that Arsene Wenger decides to spend in.
The following is a list of players who I would like to see in the Arsenal colours next season.
Provided that the Gunners qualify for the Champions League at the end of this season and that Wenger is willing to spend his reported £70m transfer kitty.
That said, this XI is purely who I would like to see at the Emirates next season, so feel free to provide your own alternatives in the comments section.
Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic
The Stoke City stopper, at 25, is entering his prime goalkeeping years and has shown this season that he is a true talent between the posts. Although pricy at a reported £15m, the Bosnian will be well worth it for Arsenal and could provide competition as well as mentorship for the somewhat inconsistent and much younger Wojciech Szczesny.
Right-back: Sebastien Corchia
With Bacary Sagna set to be leaving in the summer, Wenger will have to sign a right-back to provide cover to Carl Jenkinson and Corchia might just be the right fit. The Sochaux man has represented France at youth levels and is set to replace Sagna in the national team as well. The 22-year-old is known for his attacking instincts, dangerous free kick ability, and versatility.
Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny
The Frenchman has again proved his worth this season. Although having a somewhat shaky start to the season, Koscielny has been turning in consistent performances of late. Being one of the fastest defenders in the league, the French international can keep up with and cover the fastest attackers. Wenger needs to hold on to the centre-back.
Centre-back: Ashley Williams
Williams has shown good form and real resilience against big Premier League sides this season and Arsenal can only benefit from the 28-year-old’s experience at the back. As the Swansea and Welsh captain, Williams is a born leader and a very effective defensive organiser – exactly what Arsenal needs. He can play as a central defender or at right-back and Wenger should do all he can to sign the man who led Swansea to Capital One Cup honours this season.
Left-back: Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs is one of the most promising young players in the Arsenal and England side. The 23-year-old has shown creativity, pace and solid defending in the right back position this season and at such a young age he could only get better. With the latest signing Nacho Monreal equally talented, this is one area where Arsenal don’t need any improving.
Defensive-midfield: Etienne Capoue
Although Arsenal will face stern competition from Paris Saint-Germain for the defensive midfielder’s signature, this is one player that could improve the squad immensely. This season’s poor defensive displays are largely owed to the lack of a proper holding midfielder who can provide cover to the back four.
Capoue could do just that, as well as adding to the attack. The Toulouse midfielder has scored seven times and assisted three times for his club this season.
Central-midfield: Jack Wilshere
It goes without saying that this young man will play a huge role in Arsenal’s future. He is a born leader and he leads by example, taking his team forward in attack with exciting runs or setting up his teammates with good passing; and it will be no surprise to see him take over the captain armband next season.
Although struggling to regain his pre-injury form, the 21-year-old England international is sure to be back to his best before long.
Central-midfield: Santi Cazorla
The former Malaga man must surely be the pick of Arsene Wenger’s pre-season signings as he has effortlessly adopted the Gunners’ style and slotted right into the fluid, almost ‘Spanish’-type passing game that Arsenal is known for. His passing is immaculate and he often creates chances with piercing passes and long balls for his teammates.
Right-wing: Theo Walcott
‘There is no substitute for pace’ – the saying certainly rings true in the case of Theo Walcott. The young England international has blistering pace but has also improved remarkably in his finishing and passing.
Despite his recent dip in form Walcott remains Arsenal’s top goal scorer with 18 so far this season. With the 24-year-old on right wing, a Walcott-Jovetic partnership could prove to be lethal in attack.
Striker: Stevan Jovetic
Coming with a lofty price-tag at £30m, Wenger will have to smash the club transfer record to prise Jovetic away from Fiorentina. But at only 23-years-old and with excellent dribbling skills, control, vision and the ability to finish well, the young man could be groomed into the next Thierry Henry. The forward could flourish at Arsenal and could provide the firepower that the Gunners have been lacking.
Left-wing: Lukas Podolski
Although the German hasn’t been afforded much playing time recently, Podolski is always a threat to defenders. His pace, agility, trickery, and striking ability are qualities that Wenger needs to make use of. The Germany international has expressed his desire to play down the middle but the wide position has suited him well and I’d like to see him starting on the left next season.
So there’s my ultimate XI for next season. Let me know who you would like to see at the Emirates in 2013/14 in the comments below.
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