The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern have been disappointed by their side’s performances this season and their consequent failure to mount a genuine challenge to finish inside the top-four.
The Gunners faithful have become accustomed to finishing inside the top-four during the last two decades, so their club’s absence from the competition this season has been a particularly strange notion for the supporters to take on board. However, it seems that the fans will need to get used to Europa League football, as they will not be finishing there again this season barring an extraordinary set of results during the final weeks of the campaign.
Whether Wenger will be given another chance to rectify the situation at the club next season remains to be seen, but regardless of who’s in charge, it seems clear that they need to bring a handful of new players to The Emirates to instigate a significant improvement. The arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the club a fresh injection of attacking energy in the January window, but if Arsenal want to return to Europe’s elite club competition next season they will need to strengthen in deeper positions.
According to a report from Football365 a few days ago, Arsenal are interested in signing an attacking midfielder this summer, namely Mohamed Elyounoussi of FC Basel. The Norwegian international has been in mightily impressive form for the Swiss outfit so far this season with 7 goals and 13 assists from 34 appearances in all competitions.
Elyounoussi’s reputation significantly increased after he played a starring role in Basel’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League last month by scoring a goal and providing an assist at The Etihad Stadium. Despite his obvious talent, Arsenal should abandon their pursuit of Elyounoussi for now and instead focus on strengthening their options in central midfield.
To put it bluntly, Arsenal’s selection of central midfielders are below the standard that is required to finish inside the top-four, so it’s an area in which they have to strengthen if they wish to achieve their domestic ambitions. Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny are simply not good enough to help Arsenal return to the Champions League, whilst Jack Wilshere could be on his way out of the club once his contract expires in the summer.
If you look across the Premier League, many of the top teams are defined by their central midfielders. Nemanja Matic has been crucial for Man Utd this season, whilst N’Golo Kante was the star of the show when Chelsea won the Premier League title last season. Even at Man City this season, a team with so much attacking flair, Fernandinho is the unsung hero in the squad. Arsenal don’t have a player like that – and that’s a huge problem for the Gunners.
Elyounoussi would be a valuable addition to Arsenal’s squad, but the club must prioritise improving the spine of the team before they attempt to bolster their attacking options once more.
Arsenal fans – thoughts?
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