After Arsenal completed the signing of German International Mesut Özil for a club record of £42.5 million, many pundits were quick to identify that the club's squad was inadequate for a title challenge. But can they be genuine contenders? Yahaya Mohammed thinks so...
First and foremost it should be identified that Mesut Özil’s signing is not only one that would boost Arsenal’s capability on the pitch but rather it also has a morale boosting effect on current players. It has already gotten currents stars like Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott very excited, in addition it will encourage other players to step up their game in order to secure more game time.
Althoug, Arsenal failed to secure the signature of any striker on the last day it should be noted that the club have four forwards on their payroll which include Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo, Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu Young. Admittedly it can be universally agreed that only Giroud is actually capable of performing well for a club like Arsenal.
However, the other players can always come and give Giroud a break at the end of a comfortable game or during League Cup matches. Sanogo was not loaned out, so that should mean that Wenger always intended on giving the young striker some game time for development.
Suffice to say other players like Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott can play the centre forward role when called upon. Overall, Arsenal has at least six different options for the lone forward role and with an abundance of midfielders; the aforementioned players who normally ply their trade on the wings can easily be covered.
Also the signing of Mathieu Flamini from AC Milan is very crucial as he is a utility player that can play a number of positions. He usually plays as a defensive midfielder but can also put a decent shift at the full back position (was left back for most of Arsenal’s 2006 Champions League campaign where they reached the final).
The player therefore provides cover for when Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are not available and will also be right back cover should Bacary Sagna move to centre back. When all of the above mentioned and the signing of Emiliano Viviano are considered, then Arsenal should have adequate cover for each position.
At this very moment, there are many players who are injured like Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski. When they do return, the squad will have its much-needed depth. The only dilemma involves the quality of their performances, but after a year of gelling this squad of players is sure to improve.
Finally, Arsenal fans should recall that there are many young players coming through at Arsenal like Carl Jenkinson, Oxlade Chamberlain, Ryo Miyaichi and Emmanuel Frimpong who will require a lot of game time in order to improve. By having too many experienced players in the squad, this will be unlikely.
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