Arsenal FC: Predicting the Gunners' Most Important Players for Next Season
Arsenal is a team that has a plethora of players who are capable of putting in great performances every match to ensure that the Gunners come out of the match with a good result.
Some of these players are simply the backbone of the team, others are the fuel that propels the Arsenal attack, while some others form the wall that helps to stop the penetration of the adversary's attack.
Next season, Arsenal will need these players to prove that they are the key players of this team more than ever with big clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea adding big name additions to strengthen their squad.
These key players will need to show their full potential next season if Arsenal is to be in contention to win a title and end the drought.
So with that in mind, here are the players who will be big factors in the Gunners' success.
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Mikel Arteta is one of Arsenal's additions from last summer's transfer window. It was also that summer that two of Arsenal's midfield maestros, Cesc Fábregas and Samir Nasri, left the Gunners.
Arsenal was in search of a playmaker, and Arteta was an option for Arsenal to sign. Evidently, he wasn't intended to fit in the shoes of Fábregas' role in midfield, but he still managed to be effective from his position and make many key passes.
Last season, Arteta was the Gunners' maestro in midfield. He was making the passes and he was also capable of taking some long shots.
Then, Arteta displayed his free kick abilities in the Gunners' 3-0 victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League. He hit a nice, powerful shot that the opposing goalkeeper just couldn't stop.
Arteta has become one of Arsenal's key players.
Next season, the Spaniard will need to show that he is a key player if Arsenal is to do well, and he is one of the Arsenal players capable of doing so.
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Alex Song was one of the Arsenal players who really improved his play last season.
He managed to display superb passing skills time and again throughout the past season. One of his most memorable assists last season was his long ball to Robin van Persie against Everton.
What appeared to be a regular Arsenal possession, full of passes, turned into a wonder goal, which started from Alex Song's boot.
He assisted the Dutchman van Persie more times throughout the season.
On defense, Song has been a great help. He does tend to foul quite a bit, but he is still capable of making good, effective tackles.
The Cameroonian midfielder will be needed more than ever next season, and he is capable of stepping up to the challenge that the coming season poses.
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If Robin van Persie actually completes a transfer to depart from the Emirates, the Gunners will need to select a new captain.
Out of all the Arsenal players, Thomas Vermaelen is the player who seems to be best suited to fit the role of captain. He has the leadership qualities to captain the Arsenal team, and he is effective enough in his defensive position to set an example for the team.
With van Persie's possible departure looming, the Belgian international's role at Arsenal has upgraded significantly.
Vermaelen is part of Arsenal's defensive backbone and has made many key tackles to help support the Gunners' defense.
This player is already important enough, so he will be one of the key players for Arsenal next season.
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Bacary Sagna is one of Arsenal's most solid defenders.
The Frenchman has had to deal with very talented forwards attacking him through the wings, but he has managed to stop these players consistently.
He is a speedy defender who tackles consistently, and he is also capable of joining the attack on the right wing and sending crosses into the box.
Finding a defender like that is very difficult; Arsenal are lucky to have Sagna.
Next season, the Frenchman will be one of Arsenal's key players, both stopping attacks and creating them.
Both New Signings
Arsenal was one of the teams to get working from the start this summer, and as I mentioned earlier, they already completed two signings.
The two new additions are Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
Podolski is one of those speedy left-footed wingers who can operate around the left flank. That left side is where he is used with the German international team. However with Cologne, he was used in a more central position.
His versatility will be very useful for Arsenal's attack.
Olivier Giroud, on the other hand, is a pure striker. He is a tall one, around 6'4", and that height is something that will be very useful in Arsenal's attack with players like Sagna putting crosses into the box on many possessions.
He is a player who has the tools to succeed in the Premier League.
Both of these players have been acquired to add firepower to Arsenal's attack, and that is why they will be key players next season.
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The players mentioned above aren't the only ones who have what it takes to perform well next season.
Laurent Koscielny for example has found his defensive form recently, and that will be huge for Arsenals campaign next season.
TomáŠ Rosický also found his great form toward the end of last season and was dribbling, passing and shooting with much more confidence.
If Robin van Persie stays with Arsenal next season, he will definitely be one of the key players who is capable of performing very well every match.
However, the players mentioned in the previous slides are the ones who will be capable of putting in great performances every match, regardless of what the future holds for van Persie.