This Might Come As A Shock, Arsenal Midfield Needs An Upgrade: Fan Column

Arsene Wenger

The second half of the current season has seen changes in the form for teams at the top of the table. Arsenal have put up some great performances fueled by the quality in their midfield. They have taken advantage of a flailing Manchester City and have moved up to second in the league. A pleasant change from the fourth spot they have occupied for the past decade. The Arsenal midfield is the best in the premier league right now, but it can sure do with some upgrades in the immediate future.

The Problems in the Midfield

Players like Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott will soon fall out of favour at the Emirates. Ramsey was talismanic at the start of last season, but was sidelined due to injury. He has not been at his best ever since scoring 5 goals in the 18 times he has played for Arsenal in the Premier League this campaign. Santi Cazorla on the other hand has had a great season, scoring 7 and assisting 8 goals in 27 appearances. The Spaniard though does not have age on his side. At 30, he will have soon peaked in his performances only to give diminishing returns to the manager. Theo Walcott, on the other hand, is still a doubtful starter after spending 9 years at the Emirates.

Walcott was a brilliant prospect when he was bought from Southampton. His pace and dribbling attracted a lot of attention from fans and rival managers. His inclusion in the 2006 England World Cup squad was yet another indicator of a promising future. But things have gone south ever since. He has been an inconsistent winger for Arsenal and has missed out on inclusion in the two World Cup editions since.

The Arsenal midfield engine currently runs on the pace and creativity of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. They will need consistent team mates to back them up and compliment their game.

Possible tune ups

Arsene Wenger will be active this summer with rumours of a possible midfield signings. The 22-year old Real Madrid attacking midfielder, Isco remains a target. A suitable replacement for his compatriot Santi Cazorla. Another bright prospect is AS Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, who was instrumental in eliminating the Gunners from this year’s Champions League. The two signings, if brought to fruition, will provide Wenger long term replacements for Ramsey and Cazorla. Theo Walcott, though will soon go hunting for greener pastures where regular playing time is guaranteed.

If Wenger succeeds in acquiring his targets then we could see Isco operate down the middle behind the striker while Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil take up their positions on the two flanks. The Frenchman, Kondogbia will provide central midfield as well defensive midfield options for Wenger. This is a midfield which has a good 5 years of development in them. Given time and the right guidance, they will grow into a world class quartet. Arsenal’s dominance has always stemmed from their midfield in the past decade. They make life easy for the striker, irrespective of who he is. It only makes sense to strengthen this part of their squad for future success.