Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny has urged manager Arsene Wenger to bring in a top striker over the summer to partner and compete with current first-choice front man Olivier Giroud.
The 28-year-old Frenchman also believes that the Gunners need to bring in a new back-up goalkeeper, as well as a right-back—to replace the departed Bacary Sagna—and a midfielder.
Arsenal won the FA Cup at the end of last season—their first major trophy since 2005—but having topped the Premier League for much of the term, they faded dramatically and eventually finished fourth.
Koscielny believes that Arsenal need to add depth to their squad if they are to maintain their challenge for the title over the course of a whole season, per Sky Sports:
We'll need a goalkeeper, a right back, a midfielder and a striker. It's important to have a minimum of these four players so that we'll be better able to challenge over the course of a whole season against teams like Manchester City, Chelsea or (Manchester) United. [...]
We need to recruit a very, very good striker, because it's important for us, for competition for places, because Olivier needs that to become even better. Having a striker who scores more than 30 goals a season can help us win the Premier League. Compared to the squads like Manchester City, even United, Chelsea, you can see there's a certain difference.
Giroud impressed for much of last season, bagging 16 goals in the English top flight, per BBC Sport. However, no other Arsenal player scored more than 10 goals in the Premier League campaign.
The Gunners were the lowest-scoring side of the top-four teams, scoring 68 goals, compared to the likes of City and Liverpool who netted more than 100 times.
The North London outfit have consistently been linked with Bayern Munich forward Mario Mandzukic, as well as Real Madrid star Karim Benzema and AC Milan's Mario Balotelli, per Jack Wilson in the Daily Star.
Sagna confirmed he would be leaving the Emirates after the end of the 2013-14 season, with Manchester City reportedly his most likely destination, per former England striker Gary Lineker:
Bacary Sagna has said he's played his last game for AFC. Rumoured to be MCFC bound. Strange one as not in the same league as Zabaleta.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 29, 2014
Arsenal look to have already found a replacement, with Toulouse's Serge Aurier reportedly on the verge of making a £7 million switch to the Emirates, per Goal.com.
This would represent good business for Wenger, and would leave him still with plenty of money to spend as he has reportedly been handed a £100 million fund to strengthen the squad over the summer, per Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail.
Where will Arsenal finish in next season's Premier League
Koscielny was one of Arsenal's most consistent performers last season and scored the vital equalising goal as the Gunners came from 2-0 down to beat Hull 3-2 after extra time and win the FA Cup at Wembley.
Clearly he now believes that Arsenal can kick on from their trophy win and really challenge for the Premier League next season. But not without new recruits.
Arsenal faded alarmingly fast as last season drew to a close. Having looked good for a title challenge, their lack of squad depth saw them fall off the pace by the end of the term.
Koscielny is correct to urge for new signings, and if Wenger does indeed spend well, the Gunners could be a serious force domestically and in Europe in the 2014-15 campaign.