After a promising start to the season, Arsenal eventually stumbled and hit the floor face first in disappointment yet again. The gunners appeared to be serious title contenders and for a majority of the season they were, until March came and saw the gunners implode before our very eyes.
Since March 27th to April 9th 2010, Arsenal have only managed to accumulate 8 points from a possible 21 (2 wins, 2 draws and losing 4). During this time they were also delivered a world-class beating at the hands of Barcelona, this saw their European dreams shattered once again.
Arsenal did manage to finish off the season on a high by beating Fulham at the Emirates 4-0. The victory assured Wenger’s men third place and an automatic champion’s league spot.
Fans will be polarized with the outcome of the season, but almost all of them will know why and where it all went erroneous. Arsenal’s squad depth is one of the smallest in the league. A number of fans have come to this conclusion, but yet Wenger still believes they are incorrect. A hand-full of players within this squad are regarded by the fans as ‘not good enough’. A majority of the Arsenal faithful believe that changes need to be made for next season. Several of fans deem that the goalkeepers are not up to scratch, the defence still looks unstable, and the midfield doesn’t possess the steel as it used to in the past. The attack has already been strengthened by Wenger with the imminent arrival of the Moroccan international Marouane Chamakh from Bordeaux in July.
Last week Wenger was reported to have a £35 million transfer budget to utilize this summer. With this quantity of money at his disposal, the Arsenal boss should look into the possibility of acquiring these five realistic targets for next season’s campaign:
Even at 32 years of age, Buffon is still regarded by many as the best goal-stopper in the business. After witnessing the embarrassing displays of Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski in recent weeks, fans will undoubtedly want to see a new man in between the posts, and they don’t come any better than the Italian international.
Buffon’s future looks uncertain at Juventus as they failed to qualify for the champion’s league next season. The Italian still has three years left on his current contract, but if he is shown the door in the summer then he has already expressed his desire to play in England. He may come at a price, but it would definitely be money well spent for the gunners if they could obtain his services.
Wenger has been a keen admirer of the robust midfielder for a number of years now. In 2009 Le professuer made an offer for the Brazilian who was playing for AFC Fiorentina at the time, but it was Juve who were able to acquire his signature. Since then Melo has been touted by his own fans as an underperformer, even though he is a regular starter, making 37 appearances in all competitions and netting 4 times in the process.
The 26-year-old is known to be a fiery character and his disciplinary record speaks for itself. Melo has collected over 10 yellow cards and has been sent off twice so far in his Juve career.
Wenger needs a player like this in his squad, someone willing to get a card and get stuck in…Melo could be that player for Arsenal. Just like Buffon, the Brazilian international won’t be playing champions league football next season. He is not appreciated by his own fans, and as such may be tempted away from the Turin club this summer.
The tricky winger was on Wenger’s radar in 2005, but he lost out to Chelsea who managed to land the England international in an £18 million deal.
In 2008 he made his return to the Eastland’s, but under the current management of Roberto Mancini he has been left in the cold. The winger is now contemplating a move away from City in the summer and Arsenal have emerged favourites. Wenger will be able to get the diminutive City winger for a cut price of around £5 million if he chooses to do so.
Wright-Phillips could certainly make an impact at the Emirates as they look to strengthen their squad this summer. With Theo Walcott being mediocre to say the least this season, and Thomas Rosicky spending more time in the treatment room than on the pitch, Wenger should definitely keep an eye on the England international in the upcoming months.
The hard-man midfielder has been a revelation for underachieving West Ham this season. Parker is a player not afraid to have a go and get stuck in when necessary. Although at 29 years of age, the lion-hearted midfielder has a never die attitude, which is great to see in a player.
With this being said, Wenger needs someone like this in his midfield. An experienced player to encourage the younger lads on the pitch, Parker would certainly provide this.
He has been absolutely outstanding for the hammers this season, but with the club in turmoil and Zola’s future in doubt, could Parker be on his way out this summer? Wenger spoke of adding experience to the side next season, and if it hasn’t crossed his mind to bring in the tenacious midfielder, then he should certainly consider it. Hammers chairman David Sullivan recently dubbed the midfielder ‘Mr West Ham’ and has said that the midfielder is not for sale. However, every player has his price.
Arsenal are in desperate need of a top defender for next season’s campaign following this season’s displays. The defence had been reinforced with the return of Sol Campbell in January, but the gunners need more depth in this area for next year. Their best option is to prise Micah Richards away from City.
The 21-year-old has not featured regularly in Mancini’s City side this season. Although City are still keen on the youngster remaining at the club, they have stated that should receive a good offer for the player then they may let him depart. Richards is at a club looking to change, and with the money they possess it is almost certain that they will bring massive additions to their squad next season.
Wenger should look into the possibility of bringing the youngster to the Emirates stadium. With Campbell surely doing enough this season to gain an extra year at Arsenal, he can unquestionably supply Richards with great tutoring.
Wenger will have a tricky summer ahead of him as he looks to bolster his squad for next season crusade. The Arsenal chief has told fans to be patient with him, and has recently stated that he will in fact bring in top quality players to the club this summer. The five players mentioned above are reasonable targets for the gunners when the window opens in July. If they can obtain at least two of them, then it would be regarded as a step in the right direction for the club. Will the fans be pleased with Wenger’s spending this summer? It remains to be seen.
Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/TMer4kl1