Arsenal impressed many last season after they started the season so well. They finished 7 points off the top, but they were leading the way for the majority of 2013. It was clear that they had the basis of a squad that could challenge for the title, but they lacked depth and a couple of quality players.
Arsene Wenger may be about to correct that this summer if they complete some of the moves they are attempting in the transfer market. Plus Theo Walcott will be back from injury in September, Aaron Ramsay will be available after missing a large chunk of last season, while record signing Mesut Ozil will be even better after having a year to adjust. Moreover the manager and the players won’t have the pressure of a trophy barren run, after winning the FA Cup last year, therefore they will be able to play under less pressure.
They are believed to be closing in on a move for Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, who has impressed over the summer in the World Cup. According to reports, they are set to sign the Chilean for a considerable fee, which would again show the finances available at Arsenal after Ozil’s capture last summer. The forward would add much needed quality to the front line and after scoring 19 goals last season, he will provide a constant supply of goals, especially if he is the focal point of the side, which he wasn’t at Barcelona. Olivier Giroud struggled to maintain his impressive start and it’s clear the Gunners need a more prolific forward if they are to challenge for the league table.
Although they have lost another big name player in Bacary Sagna to rivals Manchester City, they look to have already secured a replacement in Newcastle right back Mathieu Debuchy. That is a good piece of business from Wenger, as Debuchy is the preferred choice at national level, therefore it could be considered an upgrade. However, Debuchy is a different sort of player, he will offer more going forward in terms of build up play and crossing. He doesn’t have the defensive capabilities of Sagna though. The Newcastle player is a very good purchase though and could signal Wenger’s intentions for the campaign to be on the front foot. They lacked this at times last season, especially in big matches.
Earlier in the summer, fans questioned Wenger again after the club turned down the first option on Cesc Fabregas who later moved to Chelsea. If they are successful in bringing in Sanchez and another big name player like Angel Di Maria, who they have been linked with, it will show that Wenger has a plan to get Arsenal back to winning titles.
It certainly is a positive time to be an Arsenal fan if they can complete their summer’s work efficiently, without faltering like they did with the Higuain deal last year. They already have a great core to a team with Szczesny, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil and Giroud, but to add depth and quality will put them up there with Manchester City and Chelsea. This year is promising to be another exciting one at the top, and I fully expect Arsenal to put up more of a fight for the title. At this stage, Chelsea are probably favourites, but a few quality additions will put Arsenal on a level playing field.