As reported in The Mail, Arsenal’s majority stakeholder Stan Kroenke and the club’s board have given Arsene Wenger their full backing. This comes after a dreadful week for the North London side in which they were beaten convincingly in both Milan and Sunderland, leaving them with virtually no chance of ending their long wait for a trophy.
The board have given the Frenchman a transfer kitty of £55million and he will be tasked with rejuvenating a squad that has proved to be simply not good enough at times this season.
Wenger who has become famous for his reluctance to delve into the transfer market, must improve the strength of the squad if he is to compete with the likes of arch rivals Tottenham and the two Manchester clubs. The need for an overhaul of his existing squad will be a blow to Wenger’s ego as he has remained adamant that the team he had built on a comparatively small budget could compete with Europe’s elite.
That notion was dramatically dispelled in Milan last week as their star names ran riot on an Arsenal team that looked out of their depth. The fact that they went on to lose to Sunderland only compounded the fact that this is the weakest an Arsenal team has been for many years.
It will be a challenge for Wenger to attract the big name players that Arsenal need and especially if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. Arsenal are desperately short of a commanding centre back, the giant Per Mertesacker has often looked slow and cumbersome at the heart of the defence since his arrival from Weder Bremen.
The likes of Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci have proved time and again that they are liabilities and not good enough to play for a club of Arsenal’s stature. Wenger has continually failed to recruit a quality centre back over the years with Blackburn’s Christopher Samba and Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini seeming to be perfect candidates for the role.
Arsenal need to add quality to a midfield that is bloated with players who have never really produced for the Gunners. Serious questions need to be asked about the futures of players such as Diaby, Arshavin and Rosicky. None of them have really fulfilled the obvious talent that they posses and Wenger’s determination to stick with these players have left many fans openly frustrated.
Aaron Ramsey is another player that needs to do more, in too many games he seems to drift to the periphery and fails to leave an impression on the match.
Arsenal need a player that will bring more dynamism through the middle of the park, a player in the mould of Napoli’s Marek Hamsik a player who will run beyond the striker and chip in with his share of goals. Another player that Arsenal fans would love to see at the Emerites is Lille’s attacking midfielder Eden Hazard.
Arsenal have missed the creativity lost by the sales of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas and the 21-year-old Belgian would go a long way to appease these departures. The thought of Hazard, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain in the same squad will have many Arsenal fans licking their chops.
With their still remaining doubts surrounding the long-term future of talisman Robin Van Persie, Wenger will surly look to reinforce his strike force. This term the Gunners have been far too reliant on the goals of Van Persie, with the likes of Marouane Chamakh and Chu-Young Park being anything but reliable coming off the bench. Edison Cavani would be an ideal folly or replacement for Van Persie but the thought of them forming a front pair would be particularly appealing to the Gunners faithful.
They are two of the deadliest strikers in Europe and a capture of that size will surely be seen as a massive coup for Arsene Wenger.
Any move for these players will come at an extremely high price. How far can a transfer kitty of £55million go when you are trying to bring in some of the most coveted players on the continent? The pressure will be on Wenger to make the right move and his future will be partly dependent on these new signings, so he better get them right. The board have been very patient with Wenger, more so than the fans but he needs to start delivering the goods to prove that they are right in sticking with their man.
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