Arsenal finished the season in thoroughly disappointing style, didn’t they?
Indeed, another season without Champions League football will surely be a significant dent to them but they must try to respond well in the next campaign. After all, there were signs of an improvement under Unai Emery prior to their late-season implosion, so it’s not exactly a stretch to imagine the Gunners returning to Europe’s elite competition.
Still, to do so, they will need reinforcements. But who will they bring in? And what impact will they make? Well, with the rumour mill churning, plenty of names have naturally been thrown up. Now, let’s have a look at some of the individuals below.
Let’s start with Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, who impressed throughout this season. The Mirror have reported of Arsenal’s interest while adding he is willing to quit the club for a move this summer. Arsenal’s interest has been long-standing, with Sky Sports reporting in April that the Scot was flattered by the interest.
So, what would Fraser bring to the club? Well, firstly he would provide great competition in the squad. With Mesut Ozil being woeful of late and Aaron Ramsey leaving for Juventus (as per BBC Sport), Arsenal are now seriously short in midfield. Additionally, while they’ve appeared in patches, neither Alex Iwobi nor Henrikh Mkhitaryan have consistently impressed this season. Scoring nine and assisting ten between them, there’s clearly a shortage in that department. In fact, Arsenal’s attack relies so heavily on the strike partnership of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. They need more!
Fraser, in comparison, scored seven and assisted 14 in the Premier League this term, helping Bournemouth to finish 14th and register only 17 goals less than a much superior Arsenal side. It is not just goals, though. Fraser’s overall stats are far beyond the wingers at Arsenal. He averaged 2.4 key passes per game in the Premier League, more than Iwobi [1.1] and Mkhitaryan [1.2] (as per whoscored.com).
The Scotland international is direct, good with set pieces and clearly has a keen eye for goal. He betters the Arsenal wingers in some key departments and would be a great addition to the squad. Aged just 25, he also has plenty of room for improvement.
Now, moving on to a player perhaps less likely to start, but one that would make a significant impact on the squad. According to Paris United, the Frenchman is on his former manager’s radar in North London.
But why should Arsenal go for Rabiot? Well, primarily they are distinctly lacking in midfield. As stated, Ramsey has now departed to Juventus, while Ozil hasn’t shown the kind of form we’re used to of late. Additionally, although arguably Arsenal’s best midfielder currently, we don’t believe Granit Xhaka is going to win you titles any time soon. Moreover, while Matteo Guendouzi certainly impressed at the start of the season, he dropped off massively by its conclusion.
Rabiot would bring experience of top level football with him. Featuring in over 150 games for PSG, the Frenchman is ahead of his years at just 24-years-old. Yet, he has struggled for game time this season, managing just 12 league games.
However, when he has played, he’s operated both as a central and defensive midfielder, while averaging a pass completion rate of 93.1% (as per whoscored.com), so could help the Gunners control proceedings in the engine room.
Finally, it has also been reported by BILD that Arsenal are interested in World Cup winner Mario Gotze, with The Mirror adding that with just a year left on his contract, he could be available for a cut-price fee.
The German made 26 league appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season, making a sizeable contribution with both seven goals and assists. Again, these are figures that significantly outshine Arsenal’s attacking figures. The main comparison arguably being with Ozil, who managed just five goals and two assists.
Indeed, Gotze is also three years Ozil’s junior at 27-years-old.
We also believe Gotze fits the Arsenal style of play, with his quick, sharp dribbling and passing ability a huge strength of his. Perhaps slightly defensively weak, but given a similar role to Ozil and that wouldn’t necessarily matter too much. Having played for Bayern Munich, Dortmund and won a World Cup with Germany, Gotze would provide a much-needed winning mentality and experience of football at the top level.
Arsenal fans, who would you like to see at Arsenal this season? Should anyone else be on this list? Comment below.
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