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Comprehensive overview of Arsenal’s squad ahead of summer transfer window


As Arsenal look to finish their 2014/15 campaign on a strong note (a second consecutive FA Cup triumph and Premier League runners-up will surely make Gooners happy), summer transfer business is already beginning to heat up.  Manchester United’s £25 million deal for PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay on Thursday could start somewhat of a domino effect across Europe.

Although the Gunners currently have a deep squad, manager Arsene Wenger revealed during his press conference on Friday that he will be looking to strengthen his team during the upcoming transfer period.  While Wenger is up for spending some cash this summer, he is bound to focus more on quality than quantity.

With this in mind, let’s take a position by position look at what the Gunners will be seeking to add to their squad over the next few months.

The goalkeeper position is a spot in which Wenger looks increasingly likely to fortify this summer.  Freshman Arsenal keeper, David Ospina, has been impressive since his arrival from Nice last summer.  The Colombia international has racked up seven clean sheets in just 14 league matches so far, and has the best shutout percentage out of any Premier League goalkeeper with more than 14 starts.

However, former number one goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny, looks as if his days in an Arsenal kit are numbered.  The Poland international has only recorded two clean sheets in 17 league matches this season and has had his fair share of incidents in and out of the locker room.

If Szczęsny was to be sold, Chelsea’s Petr Čech would be an ideal addition to the Arsenal squad.  Nevertheless, that move would seemingly be difficult due to the rivalry between the clubs (not to mention the two managers).

With many fans and pundits frustrated with Per Mertesacker’s play, central defense is an area in which some are calling for reinforcements.  While the lanky German may not be the player that he used to be, I do not see Wenger bringing in a significant center-back during the transfer window.

Along with Mertesacker, Arsenal have a world-class defender in Laurent Koscielny and a promising player in Gabriel Paulista.  If Wenger buys a player at this position, it could most likely be a youngster for the future.

The left-back position is certainly a strength for the Gunners and there should not be any additions this summer, as duo Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal have both shown their quality in defense.

On the right side of defense the Gunners have an interesting (and positive) scenario.  France international Mathieu Debuchy is a very capable right-back and will be the starter as long as he is healthy.  Spanish youngster Hector Bellerin has grown immensely during this season and looks set to be Arsenal’s right-back of the future.

Former Southampton defender, Calum Chambers, has potential, but I am not convinced his future will be at the right-back position.  The England international’s lack of pace is noticeable and he could be moved to either center-back or even in the defensive midfield in the coming years.

West Ham loanee Carl Jenkinson looked almost certain to join the Hammers on a permanent deal worth around £10 million in the summer.  However, Wenger revealed on Friday that he is hoping that the Englishman returns to the Gunners this summer and may have a long-term future with Arsenal.

Despite Francis Coquelin’s outstanding form during the entire second half of the season, Arsenal are almost certain to add to their depth at the defensive midfield position.  It is extremely likely that both Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini will leave north London next month, as both of their contracts run out.

Morgan Schneiderlin and Geoffrey Kondogbia are two names that continue to surface as Arsenal transfer targets in the position.  The Gunners couldn’t go wrong with either addition to the squad.  Both Schneiderlin and Kondogbia are France internationals and top-notch players in the defensive midfield.

Arsenal have a plethora of quality in other midfield spots around the pitch.  Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomáš Rosický, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all excellent players and deserve to play for a club like Arsenal.

Nevertheless, there has been talk of a move back home to Spain for Cazorla and Rosický is rumored to be upset over a lack of playing time.  While the Gunners most likely will not look to strengthen in the attacking midfield position (Wenger turned down a chance at bringing back Cesc Fabregas last summer), if one of the aforementioned players would leave the club, then Wenger may be forced into making a move.

Finally, the forward position is another interesting spot for the Gunners.  Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, and Danny Welbeck are not going anywhere this summer.  England international Theo Walcott has a small chance of being sold due to his contract running out in 2016, but I would bet on him remaining a Gunners player past the summer transfer period.

Arsenal currently have five total forwards on loan at the moment (Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell, Yaya Sanogo, Ryo Miyaichi, and Chuba Akpom), and I would suspect that not all of them will be returning as a Gunner come August.

Podolski and Campbell could very well be sold this summer, with Wenger looking to trim down his squad.  The two players have both been disappointing during their loan spells this campaign, netting only one goal in 34 combined matches.

Miyaichi is a difficult player to predict.  While he is certainly not good enough to be included in the current Arsenal side, he is still young and has one more year left on his contract.  The Japanese youngster will probably either be loaned out or sold this summer.

Akpom, a 19-year-old youth England international, is seen as a player for the future and will surely be sent back out on loan next season.

While Arsenal fans could see up to three forwards leave the club soon, Wenger should look to bring in one quality striker up front.  Palermo’s Paulo Dybala, Barcelona’s Pedro, Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, and Porto’s Jackson Martinez have all been mentioned as possible Arsenal targets in the gossip papers as of late.

Ultimately, Wenger will be looking to trim some of his squad this summer, but will also want to add three big players (goalkeeper, defensive midfielder, and forward) to help push his team to rival Chelsea for the Premier League title next season.


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