The Arsenal fans have been relatively downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side suffered a potentially fatal blow in their bid to achieve Champions League qualification last weekend.
Arsenal lost the North-London derby at Wembley last weekend in a fixture which has all but ended their slim hopes of finishing in the top-four this season. The Gunners now sit 8 points behind Chelsea in 4th place with just 11 fixtures remaining to overturn the deficit. Stranger things have certainly happened in football, but Arsenal’s unconvincing performances hardly suggest that a near-perfect end to the season is on the cards.
Considering Arsenal look set to fail to achieve their league objectives for the second season running, Arsene Wenger and the club’s hierarchy should now be looking at the areas of their squad which are most in need of improvement to ensure that they can produce a genuine challenge for Champions League qualification next season.
Arsenal mixed up their attacking options in January with the acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan whilst Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez departed the club, so it’s likely that they will be focusing on bolstering their midfield and defensive options in the summer.
One area in which Arsenal are particularly lacking is within central-midfield, as their deep-lying options such as Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny have fallen short of the standard that is required to effectively protect their central defenders.
With that being said, Arsenal should be making the acquisition of a defensive midfielder one of their priorities for the summer transfer window. There are plenty of worthy candidates from across Europe who would justify a move to the Premier League, but Wenger would be wise to focus on a player who is already accustomed to the pace of the English top-flight, namely Wilfred Ndidi (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt).
Since his move to the King Power Stadium from Genk in January of 2017, the 21-year-old has demonstrated that he has raw potential to succeed in the Premier League with his combative displays at the heart of Leicester City’s midfield. The Nigerian international is by no means the finished article, but considering the quality and consistency of his performances for The Foxes so far, he looks destined for an extremely bright future in English football.
Arsenal need to bring a defensive minded midfielder to sit next to Jack Wilshere in midfield, break up play, and provide some balance to a team which is crying out for a player such as Ndidi, so Wenger must do everything he can to prize him away from Leicester next summer.
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