Arsenal Transfers: 5 Bold Predictions for Gunners' Summer Spending
Arsenal's transfer market activity in the last few seasons has seen them labeled a selling club, but that could all change with some big moves this summer.
For the eighth straight season, the Gunners will not add any silverware to the trophy cabinet.
The Gunners are currently in the battle for fourth place and a position in the Champions League next season.
The position the Gunners end the season in will have a major impact on how they act in the summer. There are positions within the squad that need to be strengthened to add depth and quality to the side.
Here are five bold predictions for Arsenal summer spending.
Deals Will Occur Before Preseason
For the last few seasons, the Gunners haven't been able to complete all their first-team deals before preseason begins.
While it isn't at all detrimental to have late deals or deadline-day deals, it's a lot more beneficial when new players can be integrated into the squad as soon as possible.
Early integration is even more important when it's likely that these signings will play an important part in Arsenal's success for the upcoming season.
The three 2012 summer signings, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, didn't play for Arsenal until the last preseason game against FC Cologne.
They've all had their moments of influence for the squad this season, but had they not been involved in EURO 2012, their adjustment period would have been that much quicker.
That's not to say that having players participating in one of best international tournaments in world football is a bad thing, though. The Gunners won't face that problem during this summer window, though.
The Confederations Cup ends before July begins, and the Gunners are unlikely to sign a player from any team participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Having new players with the squad throughout preseason will help the Gunners get off to a good start next season.
All Necessary Positions Will Be Strengthened
Arsene Wenger has failed to properly address the weak areas within the squad in past seasons, but that will change this summer.
The Gunners need to sign a forward, defensive midfielder and a central defender to really strengthen the squad for next season.
Olivier Giroud needs competition up top, especially if Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott remain as first-choice wingers.
Many would have expected Podolski to share duties with the Frenchman up top, but he's only started in the position once all season.
A world-class forward may be too much to ask given the prices that are being quoted for the likes of Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao, but the talented Stevan Jovetic has been linked to club (via the Express).
Arsenal's squad also lacks a natural defensive midfielder, a problem most other big sides don't have. It would be wise for Wenger to address this problem given the Gunners continued frailty at the back.
Speaking of the back four, in central defense, the trio of Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker don't always inspire confidence.
They all have their costly lapses and weaknesses that have made attacking against Arsenal an easier proposition than it used to be.
A World-Class Defender Will Join the Club
Arsenal has not had a dominant, consistent defender like Tony Adams or Sol Campbell in recent times.
The three current centre-backs have shown enough in the last few seasons to suggest a change is needed.
Arsene Wenger should bring in a quality central defender to partner one of the trio and increase the depth, as well as the quality, of the squad.
Mats Hummels is one world-class defender who has been linked (via Talksport) with a move to Arsenal, though the London club may face tough opposition to sign the German defender.
Should that option prove too costly, there are other fish in the sea.
His partner, Neven Subotic, may be another option for the Gunners to consider, and Valencia's Adil Rami has also been linked to the club, per the Express.
The French defender may just be on the edge of being typified as world class, but he'd provide the type of solid, strong, consistent player who Arsenal needs.
He may not cost the same as Hummels or Subotic and, at 27-years-old, he is entering his prime.
A Goalkeeper Will Be Brought In
Arsene Wenger recently made known his confidence in Arsenal's goalkeepers despite their various problems this season (via Arsenal.com).
It's certainly a good ploy to raise the confidences of his keepers heading into this important part of the season, but changes may be in the offing.
Interestingly, Arsene Wenger seemed to lose confidence in the Pole at one point this season, despite his statements that the player needed rest (via Arsenal.com).
The Gunners have been linked to no shortage of goalkeepers, including Stoke City's Asmir Begovic (via Daily Mail).
Whether or not it will be a goalkeeper who is yet to enter his prime, like Begovic, or an experienced goalkeeper like Victor Valdes or Pepe Reina, there's a good chance that Arsenal may sign someone to compete with Szczesny.
Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone are decent backups on their day, but neither player really challenges Szczesny for a starting role.
Arsenal Transfer Expenditure Will Outweigh Income
In three of the last five seasons, the Gunners have recouped a lot of money through the sale of some key players.
One of the main goals of the summer window will be to clear out dead-weight like Denilson and Marouane Chamakh.
Those players are not likely to leave for high prices, and any money recouped will likely be spent on new signings.
Provided they stay in the Champions League, the Gunners should also be able to keep hold of players like Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla.
With the positions Arsenal needs to strengthen and the high-quality players fans will hope fill those places, the Gunners will surely spend more than they receive.