Three Areas Of Concern For Arsenal Before The Upcoming Season

Wenger

For the first time in a long time, there is an air of optimism surrounding Arsenal at the start of the season. After all, this is the first time in almost a decade that Arsenal start the season with a piece of silverware to show for their efforts last season. The FA Cup win gave the side belief that they could not just play good football, but also win things in the process.

This summer began on a high note and it has only gotten better for the Gunners. If the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona marked a signal of intent, the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers shows that he has added plenty of quality in areas that needed addressing. The winds of change are slowly starting to blow at Arsenal and this might just be the year in which they mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.

Even with all the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the Gunners, there are still a few areas that need addressing. The Gunners have a problem of plenty in attack, but in defence, they are short-staffed. Here are three major concerns that the Frenchman must tackle if the Gunners are to mount a serious charge on both domestic and European fronts.

Left back

Did Monreal did enough?

Many thought that the departure of Gael Clichy to Manchester City would serious curtail Arsenal’s progress, but fortunately for the Gunners they had Kieran Gibbs, who took over the mantle almost seamlessly. The 24-year-old Englishman impressed one and all with his performances last season, but the problem for the Gunners is that his replacement Nacho Monreal has looked far from comfortable in his absence.

The 28-year-old Spaniard has done nothing of note since signing for the Gunners in January 2013 and there are already reports that he wants out of the club. With Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao interested in his signature, the Gunners might just choose to sell him. If they do, they will no cover for when Gibbs is injured. Unless they sign a replacement for Gibbs soon, they might well be forced to play defenders out of position when injuries strike the Gunners.

Centre back

Much like Manchester United, Arsenal look set to start the upcoming campaign with just three senior centre backs in Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen. While all three are far more experienced than the ones currently at Manchester United, Vermaelen looks set to leave the club, which means that an injury to either Koscielny or Mertesacker might force Wenger to dip into the club’s youth ranks to find a suitable replacement for them.

Unless Wenger signs at least one, or possibly a couple of a central defenders, the club will be putting all their eggs in one basket and hoping that their centre backs stay fit. That is certainly a risky strategy, but with Wenger promising more signings, it at least looks as though he understands the magnitude of the situation at hand.

Defensive midfield

Flamini

In Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby and even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal have plenty of players who can play centrally. But the problem for the club is that all of them are attacking players, which leaves just a 32-year-old Arteta, whose legs look short and 30-year-old Mathieu Flamini to take care of the defensive side in central midfield.

Despite all of their threat going forward, given their lack of cover at the back, they need some reinforcement in central midfield if they are to stop shipping in loads of goals. A defensive enforcer will be vital to Arsenal’s chances in the upcoming campaign. Unless Wenger signs one of either Sami Khedira or Morgan Schneiderlin, the chances are that this Gunners side will likely be overrun in central midfield.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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