As the Premier League season heads into the last few matches it is set to provide yet another fantastic end to the football calendar. Arsenal have their own objectives which unfortunately fall just short of competing for the league title.
The Gunners, however, look set to qualify for the Champions League for the 19th year in a row and also have the small matter of the FA Cup final to look forward to and the perfect opportunity to end the nine year wait for silverware.
Arsene Wenger's men have come a long way this season, excluding the heavy defeats to their closest rivals, Arsenal have shown huge potential whilst playing truly breathtaking football at times. Think Jack Wilshere's wonder goal against Norwich.
Injuries to major players halted the Gunners in their title charge, losing the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere for big chunks of the season. The importance of these players to Wenger's system cannot be overlooked: Walcott provided five goals and five assists in only 13 appearances in the league.
The arrival of Ozil last summer for £42.5million raised the level of players at the club, with Ramsey in particular showing a remarkable turn of form, becoming a key figure in the Gunners midfield. Ozil has attracted criticism this season, however, his statistics are still impressive, considering the German is still adapting to a new league. His performance against Newcastle was more evidence of his importance at Arsenal, although a goal and assist would be enough to rave about, his overall performance oozed class.
However, is Ozil's stint at Arsenal set to be a short one?
Catalan giants Barcelona and beaten Champions League semi-finalists Bayern Munich have both been linked with a move for the Gunners record signing. Barcelona in particular are set for a summer of change, with a transfer ban temporarily lifted until the court makes a decision. There are likely to plenty of ins and outs at the Nou Camp, and speculation is rife that Ozil is the marquee signing the Spaniards are eager to complete. Fabregas has come under intense criticism by his own fans this season, being booed off in a recent match. Fan polls have also shown that many would have no issues with seeing the back of the former Arsenal captain.
Reports have claimed that the hierarchy at Barcelona are set to offer Fabregas and winger Pedro to Arsenal in a swap deal for assist king Ozil when the transfer window opens this summer. Gunners fans would love the return of their former hero, whilst Pedro would provide pace and intelligent forward runs which has been lacking during the absences of Ramsey and Walcott this season.
However, the signing of Ozil last season sent out a signal that the north Londoners are now ready to compete in the transfer market, so selling him after only a year would be almost impossible. If Barcelona are so desperate to get rid of Fabregas and Pedro however, they would be superb acquisitions for Wenger as it would provide Arsenal with a bigger squad and provide cover when injuries hit.
One thing is for certain: Wenger will have to strengthen the squad this summer, losing Ozil would severely weaken it so a swap deal seems unlikely but Fabregas and Pedro are more than welcome to play for the Gunners.
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