As the midpoint of the Premier League season approaches, it’s important that clubs across the division look forward to the summer as the biggest transfer window of the season opens. As time has passed, player recruitment has become integral to a club’s success and it’s in this area where Arsenal have appeared to struggle for the last few seasons. The backroom staff have undergone several changes, even more so than the on-pitch personnel, which has left the club in a poor place. Here’s what’s needed to take the club forward in the midfield areas.
The likes of Xhaka and Partey are good defensively but there’s a distinct lack of a creative spark to get the ball rolling from counter-attacks. Welsh maestro Aaron Ramsey was the key to unlocking defences for most of his tenure before leaving on a free to do the exact same at Italian giants Juventus. Since then, the club has looked stale when handling the ball in those central areas, apart from the odd fancy flicks and runs from the on-loan Spaniard Dani Ceballos. Mesut Özil would have been the man to help with this if Arteta hadn’t have frozen him out and just let him run his mega-contract down from afar.
Julian Brandt would be an interesting option to sort this crisis out; with years of Bundesliga and European football under his belt for the likes of Dortmund and Leverkusen, it could be said that Brandt is a natural fit into the Arsenal mould. He’s quick, mobile and can certainly dribble and finish, and is thought of as a young heir to the Marco Reus throne by some.
The Gunners were, of course, in for Lyon’s midfield orchestrator Houssem Aouar and the move in the last summer transfer window looked promising. Aouar has all the Ramsey-like qualities that Arsenal would need in a midfielder; he’s a true box-to-box with good stamina and real technical quality, as has been stated by the likes of Pep Guardiola. Given that the last Lyon to Arsenal transfer was Alexandre Lacazette who was, at the time, another French superstar, the move for Aouar certainly has great potential.
Signings such as Brandt and Aouar could help Arsenal push up the table and take the team back to where they once were for several consecutive years, namely within the Champions League places. Currently, they are 14/1 in the football betting on Space Casino to finish in the top four, so major signings are needed if they want to bridge that significant gap. However, they may find it tough to attract top talents without the incentive of Champions League football, so a significant improvement is needed to make sure they are at least pushing for those places. The Europa League could be key for them this season due to the Champions League spot it provides for the winner.
For Arsenal, the summer transfer window is going to be the most integral time to do some worthwhile business. If the board and Arteta can get their act together and spend wisely, then the right business could propel the club into the Champions League for the first time in several years. The positions and usefulness of some personnel such as Willian does need to be considered and if a fire sale occurs in order to fund some big moves, then it could be the best thing they do all season.