On Monday Night Football Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher deemed Chelsea and Manchester City to be the superpowers of the league, suggesting either team will win the title come May.
While you would tip Chelsea or Manchester City to go all the way, Arsenal will certainly give the two clubs a run for their money and albeit are arguably one player away from mounting a serious title challenge.
The North London club have already done well in the transfer market. Bringing in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona has without a doubt made the team even stronger. The signing of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle has also been a good piece of business. He kept Bacary Sagna out of the France team during the World Cup and now finds himself in the latters former position at Arsenal.
Calum Chambers has also settled in well. With Chambers able to play at right-back, centre-back, left-back and even in midfield, Arsene Wenger is ready to use the England youngster's versatility like a weapon. So what exactly do the Gunners need to make that extra push this year round?
'World-class centre-forward'? That's the common response to the previous question but is that really the answer? Olivier Giroud scored 16 goals in the Premier League last season. Only four strikers manged to register more (Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez). Ok Giroud might not necessarily be as good as the previous mentioned, but still 16 goals in 36 games is a decent return.
What if Giroud gets injured? Yaya Sanogo is nowhere near good enough to be the number one centre-forward while Joel Campbell has no Premier League experience. True, but what about Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski? two internationals that see themselves as attackers who'd prefer to play down the middle. Arsenal aren't as depleted up front as you would think.
No, what Arsenal are lacking is a real General in midfield. They need a powerhouse, someone who can tear up play. You only have to look at Nemanja Matic at Chelsea. Fabregas may have got all the plaudits on Monday against Burnley, but he was only able to operate in such a manor because of Matic. The Serbian sits, ball wins, protects the back four allowing the attacking players and his partner in midfield to attack fluently with less emphasis on defence for those players.
Arsenal have been linked with Real Madrid's Sami Khedira since the transfer window opened and for me it remains a mystery for why he hasn't been signed. Wage demands has been mentioned as a potential stumbling block, but for top players you have to be prepared to pay top dollar. Mikel Arteta is a good central midfielder but there are certainly question marks on whether he can play in the deep lying protective role efficiently, not to mention the Arsenal captain is currently injured.
Jack Wilshere is also another candidate. He certainly has the aggressiveness to play there but his addictive, dribbling tendency could put Arsenal in danger should he play any deeper. The call for a new striker is debatable but the defensive midfielder situation should be sorted out first. I'm not an Arsenal fan, far from it actually, but the signing of Khedira's caliber in the defensive midfield position could take Arsenal to a whole new level.
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