What weaponry does Wenger need to add to his Arsenal?
With no recent silverware in the trophy cabinet, questions have been asked over Arsene Wenger’s commitment to developing young players rather than investing in proven campaigners. But where are the weak links which would benefit from experienced playing staff? Which youngsters haven’t fulfilled the potential Wenger once saw?
By James McLaughlin.
With no recent silverware in the trophy cabinet, questions have been asked over Arsene Wenger’s commitment to developing young players rather than investing in proven campaigners. With an undoubtedly exciting squad for the future, Arsenal have failed to deliver a squad for the present recently.
2010 saw Arsenal go close, hauling themselves back into the title race before ultimately falling short by 11 points. The FA Cup exit in the fourth round at the hands of Stoke also raised concerns.
But where are the weak links which would benefit from experienced playing staff? Which youngsters haven’t fulfilled the potential Wenger once saw?
Lukasz Fabianski – Having failed to adequately find a long term replacement for David Seaman, it is hard to hear Wenger’s claims that “Fabianski is top, top level and has massive potential” above the frustrated laughter around the Emirates.
Manuel Almunia – Has developed since a shaky start as Lehmann’s understudy but still below Arsenal’s standards. A drastic move to offload both goalkeepers but a tough decision is what’s needed to mount a more serious title challenge next season and instill a confident back line.
Mikael Silvestre – There were a few raised eyebrows when Silvestre swapped Manchester United for rivals Arsenal not least of all for the fact that he was a 31 year old fringe player at Old Trafford. Although Wenger has been criticised for not having enough experience in his squad, Silvestre is well past his peak playing performances now.
Tomas Rosicky – The 29 year old has failed to replicate his form of his early Arsenal days following an 18 month career threatening lay off. The time may be right for Wenger to cash in given Arsenal’s abundance of an attacking minded midfield.
Eduardo – Another promising player who has failed to recover his form since a career threatening injury. Van Persie has firm hold of the goalscoring mantle when fit and Eduardo doesn’t appear to be the player most likely to aid the burden.
Nicklas Bendtner – The Danish striker proclaimed himself as “One of the best strikers in the world”. With profligacy in front of most goalmouths except those which are unoccupied, it’s best to let him attempt to prove this claim somewhere else.
Marouane Chamakh – A deal seems to be all but completed and Chamakh would arrive on a free transfer. Should he repay the faith Wenger has in him, it will give him a much needed boost in attack.
Gonzalo Higuain – The Real Madrid front man’s contract talks have stalled after demanding parity with benchwarmers such as Karim Benzema. With 29 goals in 38 games, Wenger could do much worse than hijack the negotiations.
Stilyan Petrov – A top performing midfield general, the 30 year old only has so many years left in him and could be tempted by Champions League football. His commanding presence would free up Cesc Fabregas to attack and also provides experience.
Gianluigi Buffon – The most expensive goalkeeper has stated that should he leave the dwindling Juventus this summer, he is interested in playing in England. A seasoned professional, he will provide stability and Champions League football could tempt him.
Hugo Lloris – Lloris has excelled for both club and country in recent years and Arsenal provide a much more likely source of European success than Lyon. In Lloris, Wenger may be able to secure someone with both youth and consistency on his side.
Gary Cahill – Although not a vastly experienced player, Cahill is one of the upcoming talents in English football. Having stressed his desire to join “One of the big clubs”, he could provide a long term partner for Thomas Vermaelen.
Who do you think Arsenal should buy/sell this summer? Please leave your comments below..
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