Arsenal’s Transfer Requirements.

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After an embarrassing 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa, it became truly apparent that Arsenal were short a number of players.  In the typical Wenger style, there has been a lot of talk about signing players without any actual signing of players.  There is a gazillion pounds worth of money in the Arsenal coffers (according to Wenger and Gazidis), yet so far Arsenal’s only signing of the transfer window has been a 19 year old free transfer (hardly something to set the hearts racing at the Emirates).  With less than two weeks now left in the transfer window, the inevitable Wenger rush to sign average players at the last minute is approaching.  The question is what positions do Arsenal need to improve?

 

Goalkeeper

Szczesny isn’t a bad player, but he is an over rated player.  In his first season at Arsenal everyone was banging on about how Arsenal had found their GK of the future, now everybody isn’t so sure.  Szczesny has the ability and he has that cockiness that all great keepers have.  The problem however is that he has way to much confidence and often finds himself conceding goals which he never should be conceding because he is trying to make a save for the cameras or is rushing out trying to be a sweeper (such as against Villa).

What Szczesny needs is competition, Fabianski isn’t good enough to give that; so what Arsenal need is a keeper who will offer a challenge to keep Szczesny on his toes but won’t necessarily need to play first team.  A perfect player for this would have been Mark Schwarzer but he went to Chelsea, but a player of a similar ilk would be perfect (Julio Cesar is available).  This isn’t a position of instant need, but the need for a good back up keeper to push Szczesny is required if he is to develop into the keeper Arsenal thought they had 2 years ago.

 

Right Back

Bacary Sagna is not a great player, and is constantly found wanting when he comes up against fast wingers or better opposition.  His back up Jenkinson isn’t much better but is still only 21 and should push on and take the position from Sagna this season.  This is one of the few areas of serious need for Arsenal, although they could do with improving the position at future transfer windows.

 

Left Back

Kieran Gibbs is another over rated Arsenal player (feel like I may say that a lot), there is a good chance he is over rated because he is English but he just doesn’t add that much to the team.  It isn’t that Gibbs is an awful player (he is not) but he is constantly injured and when he isn’t he doesn’t look good enough to play for Arsenal.  Nacho Monreal I imagine will play if he is fit and is a decent player; the major issue with Monreal is that he isn’t a great defender but he is good going forward.  Similar to right back, left back isn’t a major area of concern that Arsenal need to solve right now.

 

Centre Back

The only way to describe the Arsenal centre back set up is complete mess.  All three are solid enough players when they are fit, but each has their own flaws.  Vermaelen can never stay fit, and hasn’t been the same player he was in his first season since he had all his injuries.  Koscielny is a decent player but he is incredibly clumsy and too often has a rush of blood to the head.  Mertesacker is just really really slow, and that is totally useless up against anyone who has any pace.

The perfect situation for a club is to have around 5 centre backs, to cover any circumstance (suspension, injury, loss of form).  Arsenal has 3, one of which is constantly injured.  Against Fenerbache when Koscielny went off injured, Arsenal had to bring on Jenkinson (a slight but tall right back) because they had already run out of centre back; that is after 2 games.

If I was Wenger I would be looking to bring in 2 centre back before the transfer window closes.  Arsenal has been linked with Ashley Williams the whole of the summer and he would give them a solid, although not spectacular signing to shore up their defence.  Micah Richards would surely be a good pick up and I imagine would be available for a reasonable price (because he surely is looking for first team football before the World Cup).  He does have injury problems, but is a physical beast and could Arsenal a bit of nastiness that they lack.

 

Right/Left Midfield

This is a weird one because Arsenal don’t have any real wide players.  The only two that could be argued as such are Walcott (who claims to be a striker) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (who often plays in the middle).  The only other player that I can see that is a wide man is Ryo Miyaichi who has never played a Premier League game for Arsenal (2 League Cup appearances) and is likely to be loaned out again.

Theo Walcott is an odd player, because he has something but I’m not sure what he has is actually very good, to me he doesn’t seem like a starter.  He seems like he is the perfect sub player, the problem here however is that he is one of Arsenal’s most important and best players.  There is no doubt he is incredibly quick, and he can score from amazingly tight angles.  However Walcott doesn’t have a footballer’s brain; he often struggles to see passes, he doesn’t have the technique required to deliver high quality crosses and when you expect him to score often he doesn’t.  He looks like a track star that plays football.  Chamberlain looks like a really good young player, but for some reason he struggles to start for Arsenal.  It does seem odd (because Arsenal lack wide men) that he doesn’t start more often, but he picked up a bad injury in the game against Villa and could be out for 3 months, which would be a major blow for Arsenal.

This is surely a major problem for Wenger because often against the smaller teams Arsenal struggle to break them down because there is a lack of space, and without width this will allow teams to become even narrower against them.  I know that Arsenal are a team that likes to play through the middle, but as Man City found out last season, sometimes you need a bit of width to change a game and to give you something different..

Again if I were Wenger I would be looking to sign two wingers before the transfer window closes.  Hatem Ben Arfa is an excellent player who for some reason finds himself at Newcastle (I believe he had attitude problems), I am sure he would jump at a chance to go to Arsenal.  He is a talent and has bags of technique and skills that Arsenal is sorely missing.  Georgino Wijnaldum is a 22 year old Dutch internationalist that is ready to take that step up to the next level.  He has played for both PSV and Feyenord and is an exciting and electric winger who loves to dribble the ball.  Both players would add a little bit of electricity to Arsenal and give them the width they are sorely lacking.

 

Central Midfield.

Arsenal have lots of central midfielders, the problem is that they don’t have enough quality central midfielders.  Tomas Rosicky has never quite hit the heights that Wenger would have hoped when he signed him; also is it me or does Rosicky only seem to turn it on when his contract is running out?  Mikel Arteta is a good solid player who I like, but he should be a squad player not the main cog in your central midfield.  Jack Wilshere is over rated (yes I said it!), he hasn’t shown nearly enough to be considered as highly as he is.  There are also major concerns over his attitude (he’s a wee chav) and his body is made out of glass.  If he could stay fit and develop his game he could be a very good player, but at this rate he is destined to be a major disappointment.  Aaron Ramsey has never been able to fulfil the potential he showed at Cardiff, and really is a very ordinary player, reminding me of a less talented Arteta.  Santi Cazorla is the diamond in a team that is struggling for pure quality, he is it and I am surprised that a bigger club didn’t come in for him in the summer because he showed last season that he is better than where Arsenal currently are (sorry Arsenal fans).  Frimpong (33 appearances in 3 seasons) and Diaby (40 games in 3 seasons) are identical to each other because they cannot be relied upon to stay fit.

There isn’t an issue of depth at central midfield at Arsenal, there is however a major issue of quality.  The only players worth keeping in this group are Cazorla, Wilshere and Arteta; that would be Cazorla and Wilshere to start and Arteta as a solid squad player.  Essentially Arsenal need a holding midfielder, a centre midfielder and an attacking midfielder to create enough all round depth.

There are lots of players available for Wenger to sign here; Geoffrey Kondogbia looks like he may be the next big thing for French football.  He has already been capped by the French national side and played an important role in the Sevilla team last season, all at the ripe age of 20.  He would give Arsenal some height and toughness that they are sorely lacking in their midfield.  Kondogbia has stated that he would like to move to the Premier League, Arsenal should be in for him.  Yohan Cabaye is already an established star in the Premier League and has been linked with Arsenal already.  He has got everything you want from a central midfielder; he can pass, tackle, score, take set pieces and has a rocket of a shot.  He would be a great compliment to Jack Wilshere and would help push him to improve as a player.  Finally if I were Wenger I would look at bringing in Fellaini from Everton; much like Cabaye he is a proven Premier League player, and much like Kondogbia he has that toughness and height that Arsenal are sorely lacking.  Fellaini can blow a bit hot and cold, but when he is hot he is almost unstoppable and he is ready to take that step up.

 

Striker

Arsenal don’t have enough strikers, it is as simple as that.  Olivier Giroud is their main striker currently and if that doesn’t start warning lights I don’t know what does.  He just hasn’t been able to recreate his form that he had in Ligue 1, and who knows if he ever will; currently he doesn’t look quick enough or prolific enough to be a successful striker in the Premier League.  Lukas Podolski I like, but clearly he has attitude problems and he and Wenger rub each other the wrong way, which is a shame for Podolski and for the league because he is an excellent player when he tries.  However as was shown when he was at Bayern, he doesn’t try enough.  Yaya Sanogo (only signing so far) I have never seen play but I know he is good in Football Manager, so that must mean something….  The less said about Nicklas Bendtner the better.

They need 2 strikers, but could maybe get away with just signing the one.  Arsenal need someone who can score around 20+ goals a season, currently they don’t have that and much like Tottenham (pre-Soldado) it is holding them back.

If I were Wenger I would be going out to sign Benteke, the guy is an absolute beast.  He has everything; he is fast, good in the air, strong, has a great shot and is prolific in front of the net.  Much like many of the other players that I think Wenger should be trying to sign Benteke would give Arsenal the nastiness and height that they are sorely lacking at the current moment.  The other player I think Wenger should go for is Burak Yilmaz.  I have seen him play several times for Galatasaray in the Champions League and he is very prolific in front of goal (32 goals in 39 appearances last year).  He has never played outside of Turkey though, and could well be another Giroud but it is surely worth a shot for a player who could potentially be a 20+ a season player.

 

Conclusion

If Wenger were to go out and buy all the players that I think he should then he would have to make 10 signings which is never going to happen.  This is however a best case scenario, if Arsenal were able to fix every single position and problem they have.  It isn’t surprising that Arsenal have so many holes in their squad, because Wenger has allowed the squad to deteriorate over the past 5 years.

If I were to pick the 5 signings that I think that Arsenal should make over the others I would say Benteke, Kondogbia, Ben Arfa, Williams and Richards should be the main priorities.

It is interesting to note that very little of the squad is made up of Arsenal academy players.  What happened to Arsenal’s acclaimed youth system?  Only Szczesny, Wilshere and Gibbs are academy products, which isn’t great and there doesn’t seem to be much coming through in the future.

As things stand it looks like it will be a long season for Arsenal fans, as they look at the increasingly likely chances of their arch rivals Spurs finishing above them in the league.  The only way this won’t happen is if Arsenal go out and make a number of quality signings to address the weaknesses in their squad.

 

 

So let me know what you think about the current Arsenal transfer dealings, or rather lack of them.  What players do you think that Arsenal should be trying to sign in the last week and a half of the transfer window?  It would be good to hear from Arsenal fans on how they see the situation and their feelings on the current squad and Arsene Wenger.  All comments are welcome.

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Author: bm23reviews

I watch TV and sports then write stuff.....that's about it.

43 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Transfer Requirements.”

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I think that he will definitely stay because it is unlikely that they are going to sign 10 new players in just over a week. I don’t however think that he has a future at the club in the long term and will probably be gone either next season or the one after that.

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    1. Your soo right I’ve never been assures of Ramsey as a player until dis match reminds ,e of when Darren fletcher was becoming soo important to man utd at one point he seems like his all round game has improved

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      1. Maybe so, maybe this is the coming of age of Aaron Ramsey and he will become the player Arsenal thought they were buying. However playing well in one game does not constitute that all of a sudden he is a good player. If he were to come out this season and have a number of good games then I would change my opinion, but so far in his Arsenal career he has not done that and what is even worse is that he hasn’t even shown the potential to be able to do that, which is why I don’t think he has a long future at the club.

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    1. It is an odd one because he did well at Bolton 2 seasons ago, but then couldn’t cut it at Wigan (I know he had some injuries). I don’t think he is ready to play first team yet at Arsenal and for the good of his development he has to be sent out on loan. I’m not sure Wenger worries about depth in these situations and I think he could be a transfer deadline day loan deal to somewhere like Crystal Palace.

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      1. From what Wenger has said, it feels like he has hinted at giving Miyaichi a chance with the first team, but a loan would be expected. I feel Miyaichi would do well at CP.

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    1. I have heard stuff like this before and then they get loaned or sold the next week. If Miyachi is staying it can only be bad for his development, but I guess the needs of the team outweigh the needs of the player.

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      1. Bad for his development because the chances are he won’t get that much game time, whereas if he were loaned out to a team where he would be first team or an important squad player then it would be more beneficial to him than playing maybe 10-15 games as a sub at Arsenal.

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  1. I don’t think u actually are looking at this the right way. Fact arsenal do need signings but also u have to work with what u have if you look at ground his goals in France were simple goals but scored because he had the supply here he doesn’t have the crossing supply neither does he have enough support. I want to see a fast striker wid balance bezema would be good but only if the deal includes di Maria as a supplier. Richards would be a perfect signing for his versatility and I prefer pogba

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    1. I looked at this as the signings Arsenal need to make to solidify and fix their squad. Of course tha chances of them making 10 signings of this magnitude are highly unlikely, but I agree he has to work with what he has got. Players like Ramsey and Rosicky aren’t just going to be sold because they aren’t really good enough, because without them Arsenal lack any depth. As I said when I made this list, I was surprised at the lack of width Arsenal actually possessed, and it is surely a matter of concern for Wenger. On top of that, RVP played without any width in the team either and it didn’t stop him scoring 30+ a season, so Giroud doesn’t have that excuse. The simple fact is that he isn’t that good.

      As far as signings go, I don’t think Benzema, Di Maria or Pogba are actually realistic signings for Arsenal. Why would you move from bigger clubs (even in a squad role) which are winning things to a club that will win nothing? You probably aren’t going to. However if Arsenal somehow managed to sign these 4 players then yes it would improve their first team and squad quite heavily, but not particularly realistic.

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      1. Benzema, etc. might come because they have the chance to make a big impact(and maybe history) on the team. Real Madrid is packed with stars so even one player would make arsenal shine(like cazorla).

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      2. I do agree with that in terms of they could become legends at Arsenal and they aren’t good enough to become legends at Real. The main problem is that I think that both players will see themselves as too good for Arsenal. It wouldn’t shock me if both guys ended up in either France or Italy.

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  2. I don’t agree with you on Koscielny and Ramsey. They would be among the first 4 names on the team list. Koscielny’s speed and timely tackles saved us numerous times. Have you seen him score against Man City, Bayern Munich, New Castle ? And about Aaron Ramsey you say he’s played once in last 20 matches? Are you from another distant planet?

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    1. First off I said that Ramsey has played well once in the last 20 matches, which is of course an exaggeration because I haven’t seen all of his last 20 matches at Arsenal. However Ramsey has not became the player that Arsenal thought he would, and is more than often a passenger when he plays.

      At no point did I say that Koscielny is a bad player, what I did say is that he is clumsy. He often finds himself out of position and makes a rash decision which costs the team. Also you don’t sign a centre back so he can score goals, you sign him to make sure you don’t concede them.

      First 4 names on the Arsenal team sheet: Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott and then probably Koscielny. Ramsey is nowhere near this list.

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  3. Terribly biased article. You seem like someone who just really doesn’t like Arsenal. Ramsey has been excellent for arsenal since January, and it was the Arteta/Ramsey partnership that propelled them to that run of form that saw them overtake Spurs. How are Arteta and Ramsey ordinary, but Cabaye is a “star”? Arteta is every bit the player Cabaye is. And Theo isn’t very good, and shouldn’t be a starter? What? 21 goals in all comps from a wide player is fantastic. This just sounds like hate, man.

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    1. I don’t see how it is biased at all, who is it biased towards? Arsenal? So I should write this as if Arsenal are a team who can at best finish 4th? Or should I write it about the 2nd biggest club in England?

      Cabaye is better than both Arteta and Ramsey, and I never said he would or is a star. What I did say is that he would be useful as a replacement for Wilshere if he isn’t fit. I like Arteta, but he shouldn’t be a starter at Arsenal, he should be a useful squad player.

      As far as Walcott goes I commented that he isn’t a great starter and is instead best utilised as a substitute because that is how he would make the most impact.

      It isn’t hate it is a frank assessment of the current situation at Arsenal.

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      1. Again, in what way is it biased? Is this Arsenal team good enough to finish 4th? Yes. Should that be Arsenal’s aim? No. I don’t see how I can be biased by thinking that Arsenal should be challenging for the league rather than for 4th place. If that’s biased, then so be it I am biased. However you clearly don’t understand the meaning of the word.

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      1. They are definitely better than Palace, but before the game everyone thought it was a guaranteed win for Arsenal (myself included). The bad calls side of things is over exaggerated because Arsenal played very poorly and got out hustled throughout the game and really only have themselves to blame. Once you start blaming refereeing decisions, you can’t learn from your mistakes from the game.

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      2. Perhaps so, but Koscielny gave the referee the chance to send him off by lunging in and gave the referee the chance to award a penalty by doing the same thing. It’s all swings and roundabouts though, because Villa received very poor decisions against Chelsea

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      3. Yes Szczesny showed his lack of maturity in the Villa game with the penalty and when he thought he was a sweeper, that is why he needs competition. The Koscielny one is odd because he does foul Weimann (I think it was him anyway) but Weimann then dives when he sees it isn’t going to develop to get Koscielny the 2nd yellow, which isn’t right.

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  4. I don’t think giroud is a bad striker, he just hasn’t found his feet yet. He has scored two goals(1 PL and 1 CL) in two appearances this season so far so he’s not off to a bad start.

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    1. Maybe some of it is unfair (because other teams are paying over the odds for players) but the money is there and they haven’t spent anything. They know they have gaps in their squad yet for the past few years have ignored them and not made the signings to fix them. It isn’t frustration over the lack of signings this season, it is pent up frustration about the lack of top signings the club has made along with the amount of top players they have lost.

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      1. i know but it’s not easy to make top signings. arsenal need players of a certain class and for whatever reason, wenger is deciding not to pursue certain targets. i just think calling for wenger to leave is not what we need right now. wenger is one of the most stable things at arsenal and maybe the PL right now so he should continue to manage arsenal unless he finishes below fourth or has a shocking loss to fenerbache(unlikely).

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