The resident Gunners have been feeling downbeat in the Transfer Tavern of late after their side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in the North-London derby last weekend.
Arsenal’s slim hopes of achieving a top-four finish were dealt a decisive blow by their local-rivals on Saturday afternoon. Their 1-0 defeat at Wembley has cut them 7 points adrift of Tottenham who are currently in 4th place with a vastly superior goal difference after 27 fixtures. Of course, there is still time for The Gunners to stage a late fightback and clinch a place in the top-four, but it seems extremely unlikely at this stage in the season.
With that being said, Arsenal should be looking ahead to next season and identifying the areas of their team that are most in need of improvement. The Gunners made some key additions to their squad in forward positions in January as they welcomed Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club, so it would be wise for Wenger to focus on strengthening his defensive options next summer.
Arsenal will need to build a set of solid defensive foundations if they wish to return to the Champions League in the years to come, starting with the acquisition of a new goalkeeper. According to The Sun, Arsenal have identified Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland as a potential replacement for Peter Cech, although they face strong competition from Liverpool for his signature.
However, Butland’s form has not been of a high enough standard this season to justify a potential £40 million bid, so Arsenal should instead focus their attention on Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (valued at £9 million by Transfermarkt).
Schmeichel has been consistently impressive for Leicester City throughout his Premier League career so far, and he proved that he is a natural born winner during The Foxes title-winning season of 2015/16 with a series of brilliant performances.
The Danish international’s form has been consistently superior to that of Butland over the years, so Arsenal should abandon their pursuit of Stoke’s No.1 and do everything they can to lure Schmeichel away from The Foxes in the summer.