The news last week that Jack Wilshere is on the verge of signing a new contract at the club is a huge boost for Arsene Wenger. Since the 20 year-old’s return from injury earlier this season he has been the outstanding performer in an increasingly average bunch.
If he can also persuade Theo Walcott to sign on the dotted line he will be finally making some positive steps on Arsenal’s bid for long-awaited success.
The young, English contingent at Arsenal is one that is in danger of getting away from them if they fail to secure their futures at the Emirates. The other three young Englishmen who have bright futures ahead of them in the Premier League are Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieron Gibbs, all of which have represented England like Walcott and Wilshere.
The importance of keeping these players is, I feel, instrumental to the future of Arsenal. Wenger has a good solid nucleus there in which he can build a team around in the long term. These players can add stability to a side that is regularly losing its best players to rivals and as a result falling behind in competition.
There should be no more high profile sales at Arsenal and Wenger must start to build a team around his current best players. With both Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla proving to be good buys in the summer, Wenger can now concentrate on getting it right instead of tinkering.
I have written in the past about how Wenger must spend money in January but, of course, we all know that. He already has a group of players there who are capable of bringing success back to the Emirates, while Wenger should now concentrate on replacing the dead wood with players who can add to the quality he already has at his disposal.
The English contingent at Arsenal holds the key to Arsenal’s future. All five of them have represented England and are set for exciting careers both at club level and internationally. Wenger must recognise that and keep them together.
Furthermore, the longer you keep them together the more they will understand each other, and that will help them gel on the pitch, while England could also benefit from them all playing together on a weekly basis.
It is rare to see five young, promising and, most importantly, English players all in the same side and good enough to compete at the highest level. With the help of some high-profile acquisitions and some stability on the pitch Arsenal might finally be able to celebrate once more.
Because it is stability that they are in need of so desperately. It’s all very well claiming that the club is run brilliantly financially but, if the football isn’t working then things must change. To already have a solid nucleus of talent there ready to have a team built around them is something of a team-in-transition’s dream. With what he already has at his disposal, Wenger doesn’t really need a great deal of improvement in order to start getting it right.
A couple of defenders and another striker and they might well be on their way again. The English players are key, though. Key to the stability the squad, key to the success of the success of the club and key to Arsene Wenger’s reputation.
What do you think? Is the English contingent at Arsenal the key to Arsene Wenger getting right after all these trophy-less years? Leave your comments below.