Biggest Concerns for Arsenal Fans Going into the New Season

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

Biggest Concerns for Arsenal Fans Going into the New Season

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    After the signing of Alexis Sanchez, most Arsenal fans are excited about the club's prospects next season.

    However, there are still areas of concern.

    Most supporters hope that Arsene Wenger's shopping has not ended with the acquisition of Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, as the squad still requires a fair bit of work. If Arsenal are to make the leap from fourth to first, there are plenty of things they need to do better come August.

    Go to the next slide as we run through some of the biggest concerns for Arsenal fans ahead of the new campaign. 

A Chronic Lack of Central Defenders

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    Arsenal urgently require new central defenders. Having lost Bacary Sagna, who provided vital cover in that position, the Gunners currently have just Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen at their disposal.

    Worryingly, Vermaelen is now strongly linked with a move away. What's more, Wenger has admitted to the club's official website (via that there is no guarantee the Belgian will stay amid rumours of a transfer to Manchester United.

    Arsenal must add at least one central defender if they're to have a squad capable of coping with the rigours of the 2014/15 season. 

Is Mikel Arteta Still Good Enough?

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    Arsenal supporters still hope to see a new holding midfielder arrive before the start of the season.

    The current incumbent of the role is Mikel Arteta, who will turn 33 this season.

    During the last campaign, there were signs that he might be beginning a physical decline. On several occasions, the Spaniard struggled to cope with the physicality of opposing midfielders, such as Chelsea's marauding Nemanja Matic.

    Arsenal cannot afford a weak link at the base of their midfield. Arteta is unlikely to be able to play every game, so Wenger must seek to supplement him with a more youthful, energetic alternative. 

Have the Gunners Learnt from Last Year's Agonising Away Days?

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    Were it not for the saving grace of an FA Cup win, last season would probably be remembered for Arsenal's humiliating hammerings on the road. 

    Arsenal suffered heavy defeats away to Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton. Wenger's team must learn from those scarring losses if they are to have any chance of sustaining a more prolonged title challenge next term. 

Will the Injuries Continue?

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    Last season, Arsenal were undone by a series of devastating injuries. The Gunners lost the likes of Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for months at a time. The spate of physical problems prompted a root-and-branch investigation of all the club's physiotherapy practises.

    A possible solution has arrived in the form of German national team physio Shad Forsythe. He has been recruited to join up with Arsenal next season.

    Arsenal fans will pray that Forsythe is the man to end the Gunners' injury jinx.