The exasperating déjà vu of Arsenal’s disappointing Champions League campaigns could perhaps explain why come vehement Gunners fans are calling for Wenger to leave the club more loudly than ever.
It seems that Arsenal simply cannot compete against the other elite clubs on the European stage. Granted, Wenger’s men have faced some extraordinarily tough draws, but there is no excuse for the consistency of failure.
If 2016/17 is to be Wenger’s last season, it would be so fitting to see Arsenal turn into a real Champions League threat after so many years of mediocrity in European competitions.
We pick out FIVE players who we believe can turn Arsenal in a real Champions League force.
The desperate need for a 25 goal a season striker has been evident for some time, except in the eyes of Arsene Wenger evidently. On his day Olivier Giroud is a special player. However, with Danny Welbeck ruled out through injury until 2017, Arsenal need other options – and Alvaro Morata could be the marquee signing they need.
Any deal involving the Spaniard would take some time. Real Madrid have yet to activate the buy-back clause in his contract with Juventus but are widely expected to. The hierarchy at Real believe that they can make a profit from selling Morata on to another club immediately and Arsenal are rumoured to be the most interested party.
Another area of the pitch where Arsenal have looked undeniably frail in recent times is at centre half. When faced with the Champions League elite (Barcelona, Bayern Munich) players like Per Mertesacker and Gabriel looked completely out of their depth.
However, Mehdi Benatia would be the perfect remedy for this dearth of quality in the Gunners’ defence. Strong and composed, with decent pace to boot, coupled with a wealth of Champions League experience make Benatia a key target for Wenger this summer.
Fast becoming one of the most lethal strikers in La Liga, Kevin Gameiro is in the form of his life for Sevilla, helping his side to claim their third Europa League title in a row with a magnificent performance against Liverpool.
The French connection at Arsenal would be sure to welcome Gameiro into the fold if he decided to head to the Premier League and he could form a lethal partnership with compatriot Olivier Giroud.
But for the sheer excellence of Riyad Mahrez in Leicester’s title winning campaign, N’Golo Kante would surely have been the Premier League player of the season. The Frenchman produced some truly awe inspiring displays and is now a transfer target for almost all of Europe’s elite clubs.
The 25-year-old is just what Arsenal need in the middle of the park; a combative, energetic warrior and Arsene Wenger should do all in his power to convince the Frenchman to head to North London.
Athletic Bilbao’s young defender is one of the most lauded emerging players in the world today. Touted as a star of the future, the 21-year-old is already an established part of the squad at the San Mames.
A widely reported release clause of €50m may unnerve some clubs from taking a gamble on the Frenchman. However, comparative fees that are rumoured for other young defenders indicate that Laporte may be worth this value, especially as he already looks the complete package at such a young age.