Arsenal seem more likely than ever to get more important business done this summer than in previous years.
That appears to be a view that is widely shared among most of the club's critics; with the FA Cup holders seemingly ready to make a serious challenge for trophies on all four fronts in the coming season.
Whilst the fans remain more hopeful than expecting – evidently highly aware of Arsene Wenger's watertight grip on the club's finances – more analytical Gunners are convinced that Le Professeur signalled his intent when signing for an additional three years at the end of the 2013-14 season.
The popular duo of Andrew Mangan - also known as Arseblog - and Tim Stillman appear convinced when discussing the issue of summer transfers at the Emirates, with both insiders feeling that there will certainly be a decisive turnover of players in north London.
Perhaps even more intriguing was Wenger's own response to questions about his future in the aftermath of his record-equalling sixth FA Cup success.
He said: "I will sit down with my directors and see how much they believe and trust. My hunger is great but I want to do well."
When questioned along this line in the past, especially after success, Wenger has tended to put the focus back onto his players and their feats.
The shackles are off
In this instance, however, the Frenchman almost immediately turned the impetus onto those in higher positions at the club. Up until the purchase of Mesut Ozil, almost the entirety of the blame was placed on the boss for not spending.
Yet, in the light of the last two seasons, where the net spend has been approximately £98 million, it has become apparent that there were clearly some restrictions on the club's transfer kitty up until the moment they agreed new sponsorship deals with both Emirates and Puma was confirmed.
What is clear is that Wenger now knows that he must spend to compete; both Chelsea's and Manchester City's 'sugar daddy' approaches to the transfer market were not foreseen by the country's longest-serving current professional manager, not to mention something he had not had to contend with before he formulated the Invincibles in 2003.
If his team is to challenge in this lucrative era of Premier League squads, then surely it is his last league championship winning side that he must look to replicate.
Consequently, there does seem to be some proof to the rumour puddings that have circulated around the club since mid-May. Of those expected to leave are:
- Lukas Podolski - either to Turkey or Germany
- Joel Campbell - most likely to Spain
- Carl Jenkinson - Sunderland, West Ham or Norwich on loan
- Tomas Rosicky - signed a year extension, but seems likely to leave for first-team football
- Yaya Sanogo - probable loan
And those that are hoped to come in:
- Grzegorz Krychowiak or Geoffrey Kondogbia - £20-25m
- Petr Cech - £10-15m
- An unnamed striker
- An outside chance of Raheem Sterling - £30-35m
Food for thought
There will definitely be more room for adjustment in figuring out Arsenal's incoming transfers, perhaps excluding the somewhat inevitable arrival of Petr Cech.
Wenger will certainly look for quality over quantity, but it will also come down to value, with the club already stating that they will not be dragged into a bidding war for Liverpool's wantaway Sterling.
What seems more certain than ever is that the more important business will be attended to in the early part of pre-season.
Alexis Sanchez was signed on July 10th, and his success will surely be at the summit of Wenger's mind when considering this year's additions.
Where in the squad do the Arsenal fans think requires early attention? What players do you think should be let go, and who should be bought in as replacements?
Give us YOUR thoughts below!
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