Alright, I know the season isn’t over yet but it is never too early to think about next season. And, regardless of how Arsenal finish this season, all eyes will again be on Arsene Wenger over the summer transfer period. Indeed, it seems that every transfer window over the past few years, Wenger has been criticized for not buying the right players (or players at all) and, with multiple injuries to his best players this season, one has to wonder if results would be different this season if he had better quality coming off the bench.
So, while I am far from an expert on transfers, here are my Top Five suggestions for Arsene Wenger for the 2010-2011 season; I’d love to hear yours!
5. Marouane Chamakh: Some insist this deal is already done and I agree. He will be coming in on a free transfer this summer, which is very attractive to the notoriously frugal Wenger. He will provide the necessary attacking depth when half of Arsenal’s strikers get hurt again next season.
4. Franck Ribery: Yes, he needs to come to North London despite the attacking force of Van Persie, Bendtner, Arshavin, Eduardo, and company. Wenger seriously needs the experience of Ribery on the pitch and around the training ground. Even with Chamakh, the Gunners still need to bolster their attacking options if they want to win the title. This experienced international player can provide leadership for Wenger’s kiddos in the dressing room and be deadly on the pitch, if Bayern are willing to part ways with him…
3. Joe Cole: Despite being injury prone this season, he is an extremely hard worker who is getting very little love from the folks in West London. A move to The Emirates could jolt his career and provide an interesting option in the middle of the pitch. You can’t tell me that a midfield that includes Cole, Fabregas, Arshavin, and Walcott isn’t a mouth-watering prospect…
2. Carlos Cuellar: While somewhat less well-known than some other Premier League defenders, the Villa man has proven to be extremely consistent at Villa Park. He would bring a new dynamic to Arsenal’s back four that could provide the stability they need to sustain a title challenge. Sol Campbell has filled in nicely this season but how long can that really last?
1. Shay Given: Yes, I said it. Shay Given. While many have bemoaned Arsenal’s inability to finish in front of goal this season, Manuel Almunia has been almost laughable in his own goal this season (the first half of last week’s Barcelona match notwithstanding). At the very least Almunia needs some real competition for his spot in the Arsenal net. I personally think he would lose out to Given and that would mean more clean sheets for the Gunners in 2010-2011.
What are your thoughts? And don’t worry Arsenal haters; I’ll be back with my suggestions for your favorite club soon!