After a long period of constant speculation of the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal fans were finally given some reassurance as Arsene Wenger completed Arsenal's first summer signing with the news Ivorian striker Gervinho has joined the Gunners from French champions OSC Lille for £10.5 million.
The 25-year-old had been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates and had expressed a huge desire to join the North London giants. After a stellar season with Lille as they achieved their first Ligue 1 crown in 57 years and the Coupe de France, Gervinho was integral, amassing 43 appearances, 18 goals and 10 assists.
The Gunners need to have a strong summer particularly in the transfer market as the need for success has greatly intensified at the Emirates. After a horrific demise in the latter half of the 2010/2011 campaign, Arsenal's season unravelled and they concluded the season without silverware for the sixth successive season.
Wenger has been granted an increased transfer budget but so far, the Frenchman has been unable to implement the necessary changes fans were desiring. As previously highlighted, this summer for Arsenal has been mostly surrounding the uncertain futures of captain Cesc Fabregas and key playmaker Samir Nasri and the £7 million departure of veteran left-back Gael Clichy to Manchester City.
Although Nasri appears likely to continue in red and white for 2011/2012, Fabregas is on the verge of completing his inevitable £35 million move to Barcelona. If Arsenal are to pose as genuine title threats in 2011/2012 and sufficiently attempt to eradicate their trophy drought, Wenger needs to sign and sell before the season commences.
The Frenchman has stated changes will occur but still little is yet to materialize. Nonetheless, Bleacher Report establishes the final transfers Wenger needs to make for success in 2011/2012.
The Arsenal defensive line is arguably their weakest factor and has long become their Achilles' heel. One of the glaring reasons why little success has occurred in recent seasons for the Gunners is that too often the defence is inconsistent and physically weak.
A tendency to endure positioning and concentration woes alongside the occasional frailty in the air and when defending set pieces and corners have both affected and diminished title challenges in recent seasons. Despite performing gallantly last season, it is clear a quality defensive signing is required despite Wenger's claims that the Arsenal defence is more than capable.
Throughout the current summer, a number of quality defenders have been linked with a move to the Emirates and many believe Bolton's Gary Cahill is the ideal signing required. Wenger has long been a fan of the Englishman, who in recent seasons has developed rapidly to become one of the best centre-halves in the English Premier League.
A tough, physical defender who possess impressive speed and strength, Cahill is an intimidating presence who would help alleviate the lingering aerial woes and continue to enhance Arsenal's defensive strength. A target for a number of clubs, the England international is valued at £17 million by Bolton manager Owen Coyle but Wenger may be able to reduce the amount by offering young defenders Kyle Bartley or Kieran Gibbs on loan.
Cahill has stated his desire to play for Arsenal and grace UEFA Champions League football, which is a benefit for the Gunners. A natural leader and experienced, composed presence, the former Aston Villa defender has over 135 Premier League appearances and appears as the defensive signing Arsenal require.
The lovable Ivorian endured a less than productive season during 2010/2011 and with the recent acquisition of youngster Carl Jenkinson from Chartlon Athletic for £1 million, it appears Emmanuel Eboue's tenure is coming to close.
With Bacary Sagna the first-choice Arsenal right-back and showing no signs of being removed, the 28-year-old is likely to receive a distinct decrease in playing time to the 27 appearances amassed last campaign. Although the Ivory Coast international provides a strong spark from the bench alongside his immense versatility, Eboue appears surplus at the Emirates, particularly with the emergence of Jenkinson.
A number of clubs have been linked with the Ivorian and it is likely one of Arsenal's most energetic presences will depart.
Arsenal's notorious keeping conundrum was effectively cured last season, first by Lukasz Fabianski then by boom youngster Wojciech Szczesny. Before a season-ending shoulder injury in January, Fabianski assumed the first-choice role and conveyed superb maturity and reliability, eroding his reputation of a careless shot-stopper.
However, after succumbing to injury, 20-year-old Szczesny stunned Europe with his amazing displays in the Arsenal goal and enforced his presence as the new and permanent Arsenal No. 1. The Polish international is destined to commence 2011/2012 as the starting Arsenal keeper which leaves Lukasz Fabianski and fellow boom youngster Vito Mannone vying for the deputy role.
Mannone endured an injury-traumatic 2010/2011 but managed to impress with 10 appearances on loan at Championship side Hull City. Arsenal fans are well aware of the Italian's ability after his heroic display against Fulham in 2009 but the 23-year-old has failed to receive adequate opportunities under Wenger.
Both Fabianski and Mannone are terrific keepers alongside Szczesny and the Gunners require such depth in their keeping ranks, however it is currently too compacted with the trio all eager for consistent playing time.
Either Fabianski or Mannone need to be loaned to a Premier League side whilst the other pressures Szczesny for the starting berth. However, for the first time in such a time, Arsenal will enter a season with a stunning goalkeeper formation.
An obvious and likely statement. Veteran keeper Manuel Almunia has long been touted with an exit away from the Emirates for some time despite reigning as the Arsenal first-choice keeper for three seasons. A strong and talented keeper, the Spaniard has had his Arsenal career tainted with errors that have come at costly periods.
The 33-year-old has often been taunted with jibes that he is one of the main reasons for the Gunners' inability to secure silverware. Nonetheless, Almunia is an experienced leader in the Arsenal squad who performed strongly at times for Arsene Wenger.
However, the influx of talented younger keepers ahead of Almunia ensures there is simply no room for the former Celta Vigo shot-stopper and Wenger needs to sell the Spaniard.
After West Ham endured relegation despite the efforts of their fearless leader Scott Parker, the Englishman is searching for a new club and every club in the Premier League is vying for his signature. However, it is important that Wenger secures the 30-year-old in order for the Gunners to sufficiently challenge for silverware this season.
Although Chelsea have intensified their chase of the England international, Arsenal are still capable of acquiring Parker. The Gunners' midfield lacked depth last season which was exposed during their tumultuous demise. It is set to worsen with renowned defensive midfielder Alexandre Song missing over a month of football in January due to African Cup of Nations commitments with Cameroon.
Furthermore, Denilson is soon to join Brazilian giants Sao Paulo on loan, ensuring reinforcements are required. Parker is a natural, experienced leader who thrives in the Premier League and can provide the Arsenal midfield with the lacking physicality and strength it requires.
Captain Cesc Fabregas is certain to depart and Samir Nasri will, for this season, immediately be shifted into the Spaniard's role. This enables Parker to take on the defensive responsibilities whilst providing a dynamic, deep-lying playmaker.
The former Newcastle ace will instill depth and direction and West Ham desire under £10 million for the midfielder.
Nicklas Bendtner has stated his immense desire to leave the Emirates after a disappointing 2010/2011 in which the Danish striker was limited to three Premier League starts due to the superb form of Robin van Persie and Wenger's inability to rotate his squad effectively.
Despite managing nine goals, the 23-year-old is eager to discover new horizons and is currently pursuing a new club with a number of German Bundesliga clubs interested in the forward whilst Everton have inquired about securing Bendtner on loan.
Wenger needs to either sell or loan the FC Copenhagen youth to make room for the hugely promising Carlos Vela, who is yet to receive adequate opportunities at Arsenal. The Mexican has been superb during the Arsenal preseason tour of Asia and with Bendtner no longer contesting for first-team honours, the 22-year-old can become an integral part of the Gunners' lineup.