Arsene Wenger is ready to build upon Arsenal's terrific 3-0 Community Shield win over Manchester City by adding to his summer signings.
The Frenchman watched on as his side waltzed through a lacklustre City team during Sunday's clash, with new signings Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers posting encouraging competitive debuts for the Gunners.
Wenger saw Thomas Vermaelen's transfer to Barcelona finalised on the same day, as reported by Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail. As such, the Arsenal boss has confirmed he is on the lookout for further enhancements, particularly in defence.
"If I can find another centre back I will do it," said Wenger, per Gary Jones of the Daily Star. "I'm very happy (with our business) and I'm still open to doing more."
The same report also links Arsenal to signing Liverpool's Daniel Agger, who would offer the North London side a dominant style of play and leadership skills at the back. Chambers' performance against City certainly adds competition to the Gunners' ranks already, per John Brewin of ESPN FC:
Particularly special praise, though, was reserved for Calum Chambers, a capture from the Southampton sales that, on this evidence, looks the type of signing Wenger made his reputation with -- where he sees something in a player that other judges did not spot.
Brendan Rodgers indicated no offers have been received for Agger,, as reported by Neil Jones of the Liverpool Echo. "I saw some stories on Agger, but we haven’t had any enquiries," said Rodgers. "Daniel is still getting some work done on his knee. He’s been unfortunate since the tour of America, but we haven’t had anything, no offers."
Wenger's increasingly relaxed attitude is no doubt refreshing to Arsenal fans. Supporters are used to watching the boss bumble his way through transfer windows, but he's acted with conviction this year. The boss appears far more comfortable with his squad than he has in previous seasons, perhaps due to the addition of world-class stars such as Mesut Ozil and Sanchez.
Big-money signings open Arsenal up to potential exits, however. Despite Wenger's insistence that he wishes Joel Campbell to stay, per Jones, alternative suitors continue to linger. The developing forward's loan spell with Olympiacos obviously made an impression in Turkey, as Galatasaray are said to be courting the player.
It is also reported Arsenal have provided Cesare Prandelli an "encouraging response" to his interest in Lukas Podolski, via Jones' report.
The German made just 14 starts in the Premier League last season and may find it difficult to overcome Arsenal's wealth of attacking midfielders for a place in the starting lineup, as recorded by WhoScored.com. With Sanchez, Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and more battling to impose themselves, Podolski will likely be pushed aside.
Wenger's willingness to keep Campbell may also act as a direct nod toward Podolski's potential exit.
The manager will be extremely encouraged by his team's performance against City, who need to ramp up their intensity ahead of the Premier League's opening day. With a couple of further signings—perhaps a defensive midfielder and striker—Arsenal will be in good shape to challenge Manuel Pellegrini's squad on a longer-term basis.
Last season promised so much but delivered so little in league terms, especially after the Gunners set an early pace. Wenger's team showed everyone what they are capable of during the Community Shield, and they will be taken extremely seriously with a couple of early season wins.
Although obvious areas of improvement remain, the Emirates club head into the 2014-15 campaign with a real chance of toppling their patented fourth-place position.
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