Arsenal's Possible Weak Links Following the Signing of Mesut Ozil

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2013

Arsenal's Possible Weak Links Following the Signing of Mesut Ozil

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    After the signing of Mesut Ozil, Arsenal have one of the strongest midfields in the Premier League.

    Adding Ozil to a stable of creative players that already included Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky has given Arsene Wenger depth and variety in the middle of the park.

    However, there are still other areas of the Arsenal team that could be vulnerable. Ozil is a tremendous signing, but he is unlikely to paper over all of the cracks in a shallow Arsenal squad.

    Go to the next slide to discover where the weak links could be for Arsenal in 2013/14.

Wojciech Szczesny

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    Doubts persist over Arsenal's Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

    Last season, Szczesny found himself unceremoniously dropped from the first-team, and replaced by Lukasz Fabianski. Speaking about losing his place in an interview with Arsenal official website, Szczesny said:

    Obviously I had mixed feelings about my form last season, I had my ups and downs.

    It wasn't nice [to be left out] - you want to be playing every week. But then again, the most important thing is the team and that is what the team needed.

    Hopefully I can be the Club’s No 1 this season. It is important, I want to win a trophy for this club because that is what is missing in my career and I’m sure it is what the fans have been missing. It’s a big season.

    It is indeed a big season, and one that started worryingly for Szczesny. The young shot-stopper conceded a penalty in the opening day defeat against Aston Villa, and looked shaken by the incident.

    However, since then his form has improved dramatically. Hopefully the arrival of former Fiorentina goalie Emiliano Viviano will provide some stirring competition and coax more good form from Szczesny.

Thomas Vermaelen

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    Like Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen endured an ignominious 2012/13 season. He too found himself dropped from the vital Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, and never regained his place.

    In his absence, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny formed a solid base at the heart of the Arsenal defence.

    Vermaelen is currently sidelined with a back problem. However, he is still the club captain, and will expect to be considered for a first-team place when he returns from injury.

    Arsenal fans will be hoping that Arsene Wenger sticks with the effective pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny.

    Unless Vermaelen's form dramatically improves, he remains a potential weak link in the Arsenal squad.

Nicklas Bendtner

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    Having failed in a deadline bid to sign Chelsea's Demba Ba on loan, Arsenal must rely on Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo to provide back-up for first-choice centre-forward Olivier Giroud.

    Few Arsenal fans would have ever imagined they'd see Bendtner in an Arsenal shirt again. After spending two seasons away on loan, the Dane seemed set for a permanent move this summer. However, Arsenal's failure to secure a replacement saw Bendtner's transfer cancelled, and instead he will wear Arsenal's No. 23 shirt this season.

    Bendtner undoubtedly has talent, as his excellent record at international level demonstrates. However, Bendtner's problem is that his arrogance outweighs his application.

    Arsenal fans will hope that Giroud can remain fit and prevent The Gunners from having to rely upon Bendtner.

Yaya Sanogo

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    Arsenal's failure to recruit a new striker has meant Yaya Sanogo being pressed in to action earlier than anyone anticipated. Sanogo has already played in two Arsenal games, appearing in both the Premier League and the Champions League.

    Sanogo himself has recognised the need to progress swiftly. Speaking to, he said:

    I think I'll have to toughen up and improve my strength, that's part and parcel of such an intense league as the Premier League, as well as getting used to the step up, which it is from the French league.

    Yaya Sanogo may one day develop in to a great striker. However, at present he is not ready to contribute to Arsenal's first team. Arsenal fans will have to hope he is given time to develop rather than thrust prematurely in to the spotlight.


    Who do you think could be Arsenal's weak link this season? Let us know below.