Arsene Wenger faced a wealth of criticism last season, including calls for him to step down, but a willingness to adapt and success in the FA Cup meant the long-serving French boss was issued another two-year contract.
Wenger appeased the supporters by moving early in the transfer window, securing Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke and parting with a club-record fee to land Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, adding two new signings that will instantly improve his starting eleven.
Bosnian international Kolasinac will slot into Arsenal’s left wing-back slot, whilst Alexandre Lacazette will lead the line, providing the sort of effectiveness in attack that Arsenal have lacked since the loss of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United.
A lot of work to do!
However, Arsenal still have work to do in the transfer market and their side may be considered to be sub-par when compared to their Premier League rivals and Wenger knows this, as he continues to chase further additions.
Arsenal are determined to bring in Thomas Lemar from Monaco but that saga is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon and the situation is the same with Alexis Sanchez’ future, with the Gunners struggling to fend-off interest in their star-player.
Whilst Arsenal have insisted they will not sell, the re-emergence of Paris Saint-Germain on the market may make it difficult for the North London giants to continue to say no- especially as they risk losing the two-time Copa America winner on a free transfer next summer.
If the North London side are to be genuinely considered as potential Premier League champions for the forthcoming season though it’s evident that Alexis Sanchez needs to stay and not just for another year, they must convince him to extend his deal.
Losing the South American would simply be too big a hole to fill and it would send the wrong message out to rival clubs and fans alike, suggesting that the Gunners are still unable to keep hold of their best players despite an insistence that those years have gone.
There’ll be plenty of transfer speculation in the remainder of the window though, the majority of which is likely to orientate around potential changes to Arsenal’s attack, but it’s actually their defence which needs more work.
The addition of Kolasinac adds depth on the left-side, with Spaniard Nacho Monreal also available to play in that position, and Arsenal also boast solid options on the opposite flank with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain excelling and handing Hector Bellerin competition for a starting spot.
It’s the central areas where Arsenal may need to look at improving though, although on paper things look solid with the Gunners boasting Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Per Mertesacker, Rob Holding and Gabriel Paulista – whilst Monreal and Kolasinac can both play centrally in a back-three if needed.
If Arsenal are to remain with a three-man defence though, Wenger probably needs more than five natural centre-halfs to select from, especially when you consider that Holding is still a raw talent, Mertesacker is in his final year and question marks orientate around Gabriel’s suitability.
Crucially, Arsenal’s injury record is far from solid and the Gunners need to have depth within their squad to cope with any injuries that may occur- and the situation is the same when considering suspensions.
Arsenal should eye another top-class defensive recruit to play alongside Koscielny and Mustafi in the first-choice XI, with Holding, Mertesacker and Gabriel presenting good opportunities for rotation.
The Gunners have been linked with the services of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, who’d reportedly cost around £45m, and it’s the sort of deal that Arsenal should be prioritising ahead of the final month of the summer transfer window.