Arsenal: 5 Biggest Objectives of the Summer for the Gunners
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Arsenal Football Club has a lot of work to do over the summer if the team is to be improved by the beginning of next season.
The Gunners are set to finish without a trophy for the eighth consecutive season, the 2005 FA Cup being the last trophy that Arsene Wenger's side won.
The following goals are imperative if the North Londoners are to finish next season with a trophy.
Sign a Defensive Midfielder
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Mikel Arteta has been great this season. Ever since his move to the club on the August transfer deadline of 2011, the Spaniard has been a fantastic servant to the club.
Having said that, he is not a defensive midfielder.
Arteta has filled in admirably, but it is time that Wenger signed a proper shield for the back four.
The departure of Alex Song to Barcelona meant that Wenger has had to choose between Arteta, Emmanuel Frimpong (who was loaned and injured), Francis Coquelin (talented but inexperienced) and Jack Wilshere (best option but needed in a more advanced roll).
If Wenger does manage to bring in a top defensive midfielder, Arteta will be able to attack more. This frees up the Spaniard to team up with Santi Cazorla and Wilshere in more advanced roles.
Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott would all benefit from this as they'd be getting a higher quality of service.
The back four would also benefit because of the improved shielding they would enjoy.
While Arteta has done the best he is capable of, it is time for Wenger to bring in a proper defensive midfielder.
Assert a No. 1 Goalkeeper
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Another objective on Arsenal's to-do list for the summer should be the appointment of an official No. 1 goalkeeper.
Granted, Wojciech Szczesny was Arsenal's first choice throughout most of the season, but a run of impressive displays by his compatriot, Lukasz Fabianski, has seen Szczesny's position called into question.
Arsenal have not had a true top-quality goalkeeper since the departure of Jens Lehmann in 2008.
I would seriously doubt that Wenger will be signing a new keeper, so the next best thing will be knowing who the Gunners' first-choice man between the sticks is.
Enter the Season with as Full a Squad as Possible
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This is obviously already affected by Abou Diaby's most recent injury, which will cost the Frenchman nine months on the sidelines.
Regardless, Arsenal have had far too many injuries in recent seasons to truly have a first-choice squad available.
If the manager can keep the squad fit and ready throughout the summer, the Gunners will be able to hit the ground running and maintain momentum.
Early points are vital to league placement at the end of the season. A positive start to the season can truly make all the difference. A fully fit squad makes this a much more attainable goal.
Trim the Fat
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Arsenal has a top youth development academy. So why bother keeping mediocre talents around at the club?
Players like Denilson, Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh are all still on Arsenal's books once they return from their respective loan spells.
If Arsenal can rid themselves of parasitic contracts, it opens the team up for a change in dynamic.
Why not buy a few quality players instead of a handful of mediocre ones? Rely on the youth talent to make up the squad numbers.
Players like Ignasi Miquel, Thomas Eisfeld and Conor Henderson are all quality.
If Arsenal allocate more money to better players and rely on the academy to recoup the numbers, they will be better positioned to rotate the squad and compete in more competitions.
Spend Some Money
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This is something that Arsenal fans have wanted for so long now. Gunners fans want their club to make a top-quality purchase and bring in a world-class player to the club.
Podolski, Giroud and Nacho Monreal are all good players; Cazorla is a world-class player.
Imagine if every signing turned out as well as Cazorla? We'd have a team of world-beaters.
The point is, Arsenal needs more world-class players in the side, if it hopes to be winning trophies consistently in the coming years. Which is why the signing of a top player this summer becomes vital.
If Wilshere and Cazorla get a third world-class player in the side, Arsenal will immediately become contenders in any competition next season.