After a turbulent season and Arsene Wenger’s first finish outside of the top four in his 21 years as Arsenal’s manager, the French boss was given another two years to help the club get back on the straight and narrow. Stan Kroenke, the owner of Arsenal, has given Wenger the club’s full backing and has highlighted the Premier League and European honours as their aims.
To achieve these hefty targets, Wenger will need to have a successful summer of transfers. He’s started off very well with the signing of left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke 04, but he needs to continue. Arsenal have some key areas of need which require filling for them to challenge both domestically and on the European stage over the coming two seasons. So, who should the Gunners be targeting over the summer?
A top striker
It seems as though, at this stage, that Arsenal’s best chance of getting into the Champions League next season is to go the way in which Manchester United went this season; winning the Europa League. Arsenal are currently the favourites to win the competition at 7/1 in the football odds, but they’ll need a legitimate and reliable top striker to carry them through the treacherous fixtures that the competition entails.
Alexandre Lacazette has been headlining the Arsenal transfer news, with his club, Olympique Lyonnais, holding new talks with Arsenal very recently. The 26-year-old Frenchman scored 37 goals and four assists in all competitions for his club last season but could not stop them finishing a disappointing fourth in Ligue 1. Lacazette’s pace, control, physical presence – despite his 5’9’’ frame – and clinical finishing make him a potent striker, and is the perfect man to lead an attack that also boasts Alexis Sanchez.
But, should the Lacazette transfer not come to fruition, there are other viable options around, such as Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan, Andrea Belotti of Torino, or Edinson Cavani of PSG. Even Anthony Modeste could present a viable option for Arsenal, who impressed in the Bundesliga with FC Koln last season.
A crafty winger
With the focus being on the need for a striker thus far, not much attention has been on some of Arsenal’s other needs, such as a crafty right winger. Arsenal need a winger who can not only produce goals and scoring opportunities but also stay fit.
One player who has been linked with the Gunners in the recent past is Wilfried Zaha, and he’s just finished an incredible season with Crystal Palace. The Ivorian clocked in 11 assists and seven goals through 37 games, and featured on the left, right, and behind the striker – showing the versatility that would fit perfectly into the Arsenal set-up.
Other options can include the likes of Jose Callejon, who’s been playing his football for Napoli. From the right wing, the Spaniard played a marathon season of 49 games, scoring 17 and assisting 17. Excelling in the Swiss Super League, Macedonian winger Ezgjan Alioski caught the eye of many clubs with his 17 goals and 14 assists for FC Lugano.
Along with patching up a few holes in the squad and strengthening for a busy campaign, if Arsene Wenger can get a new top striker and a right winger in this transfer window, Arsenal should be well on their way to the Champions League in 2018/19.
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