Arsenal supporters are right to remain skeptical. After watching several key players leave over the past few summers, the idea of a spending spree to bolster the roster probably seems too good to be true. The rumors of one persist, however.
The Gunners were able to secure a Champions League berth, which was necessary for any large-scale plan to improve a squad that finished fourth in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger can now use that as a bargaining chip to entice coveted transfer targets.
Right now, Arsenal are being linked to the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Ilkay Gundogan and Lars Bender, according to Rob Draper of the Daily Mail. The club has reportedly given Wenger around £70 million to make it a productive summer instead of suffering more setbacks:
Wenger has said that this summer is the first for two years in which he expects to keep all his key players. He has a reserve fund of around £70m to spend, although that has to cover wages as well. In Higuain's case that is likely to be £150,000 a week or almost £8m a year, making him Arsenal's top earner.
Stevan Jovetic is another player on the radar as he seeks a bigger test, ESPN UK reports. The Fiorentina star represents the type of player Arsenal need to start making up ground on the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, the last two EPL champions.
The same can be said for Higuain, who's been a supporting cast member at Real Madrid in recent years. He would take on a far more prominent role at the Emirates. Both strikers are ready to step right in and produce for the Gunners.
In the midfield, it was hard to ignore the terrific play of Gundogan during Borussia Dortmund's run to the Champions League final. He provided the club's only goal in the final against rival Bayern Munich, who captured the trophy.
Over the past couple summers, Gundogan wouldn't have even been on the Arsenal radar. But with money to spend, a Champions League spot and a strong foundation already in place, the Gunners are seemingly serious players in the market.
Bender, like Gundogan, is a German international who's enjoyed plenty of success in the Bundesliga. A playmaker with endless creativity, he would work well with Santi Cazorla to create a lot of scoring chances for the Gunners.
The toughest part for Wenger will probably be getting the first big deal done. Players may be hesitant at first, knowing what's happened over the past couple years. Once a marquee player commits, however, it will open the door for others to join.
So the longtime manager needs to use every trick he's learned over the years to convince one of those stars to join the club, and everything else should start falling into place.
That illustrates the impact beyond simply adding a couple talented players. It will make Arsenal a destination players want to go instead of being a secondary option or off the list altogether, which makes Wenger's job easier moving forward.
When you put it all together, from improving the roster in order to compete for trophies to making Arsenal a popular club among big-name transfers again, it's a crucial summer for the Gunners.
The pressure is on Wenger to ensure it's a successful one.
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