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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Need 1 More Signing to Complete Summer Window

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger, right, sits with his assistant Steve Bould before the start of the Emirates Cup soccer match between between Arsenal and Benfica at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2014

Arsenal's pre-season showings have been very promising, but the Gunners need one more summer signing to guarantee that the 2014-15 Premier League season will be a successful one.

After convincingly beating Manchester City 3-0 in the Community Shield, Arsene Wenger told reporters he believes his team's attacking force is better and bigger than it has been in years:

I have more attacking options than I've had for a long time, that's for sure.

Three, four, five years ago every year we lost a big player. In the last two years we've added players, like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Of course that strengthens the squad. But I'm of course very ambitious but I'm a bit cautious as well. I look around me as well and I see that the other teams have strengthened as well.

There's no denying that the 2014 summer transfer window has been a good one for Arsenal. Without losing too many contributors from 2013-14, the Gunners added a solid mix of established talent and youngsters with potentialand they still have almost three weeks to add to their squad.

Perceived weaknesses, like the striker position and the situation at holding midfielder, suddenly don't look all that threatening to the team's chances this season.

There are plenty of options available and a ton of versatility, particularly in the attacking department.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Great teams don't rest on their laurels, however, and putting too much stock in pre-season success can be dangerous. The Gunners have looked good so far—they have a chance to grow and become even better.

As reported by the Telegraph, Wenger admitted he is still looking for defensive cover following the departure of former captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona. He told reporters he'll look for someone of equal quality, playing down the team's need to add another player:

If I can find another centre-back I will do it, but to find another one of that quality will not be easy. It shows you that Vermaelen left us. He had the choice between two big clubs, two massive clubs. It means these clubs have looked everywhere as well. That means it is not easy to find.

The issue at centre-back may not be as dire. Calum Chambers impressed mightily during the Community Shield, and while he may not be the most experienced option, he will have the chance to grow into the role behind the duo of Per Mertesackerwho is still recovering from the 2014 World Cupand Laurent Koscielny.

Chambers also has the versatility to play out wide (his natural position) and even at the holding midfielder spot, should the need arise.

It's that versatility that made him such an intriguing fit with the Gunners, and the cover he provides gives Wenger one less spot in the squad to worry about.

Despite all of that, Arsenal need one more signing to be truly satisfied with the summer of 2014. With one more key asset, the club would feel truly confident about their depth moving forward, and the right player could simultaneously be a massive building block for the future.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson identifies three remaining targets for the Gunners: Benedikt Howedes, Luiz Gustavo and William Carvalho. While the first two would present interesting fits for the Gunners, it's Carvalho who could truly make this summer window one for the ages for the club.

The Sporting Lisbon youngster has the potential to be an elite holding midfielder in just a few years' time, the ability to immediately strengthen the squad and the versatility to move further back and help out in case of injury.

Football journalist Sergi Dominguez believes the Portuguese international could be very good for Arsenal:

Mikel Arteta's captaincy makes it unlikely the Gunners will sign a world-class holding midfielder to replace him, but given his age, it wouldn't be a bad idea to start looking for a player who could eventually succeed him.

If that player could already play a role in 2014-15, the transfer becomes an even bigger win.

Most importantly, a move for Carvalhowho won't come cheapwould send a clear message to both the fans and rivaling clubs: The days of mocking the "cheap" Gunners are over.

Arsenal spend wisely, unlike certain other clubs, but they're no longer afraid to spend to make the team better, as evidenced by the transfers of Ozil and Sanchez.

The summer window is far from over, and there's no reason to think Wenger has already concluded his business. Right now, the squad looks great. With one more quality signing, it would look so much better.

 

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