Arsenal Transfer Prospect: Starting XI Wenger Should Have Achieved This Summer
The Summer has little over a week remaining and Arsenal fans wait intently and eagerly in hopes Arsene Wenger will utilize more of his extended transfer budget and the £35 million acquired from Cesc Fabregas's inevitable sale to European kings Barcelona.
It has been a morale diminishing commencement to 2011/2012 for the Gunners' with one point acquire in their opening two Premier League encounters, thanks to a stalemate with Newcastle and a defeat to Liverpoo.
Furthermore they possess a slender one nil advantage from the first leg UEFA Champions League qualification play off against Udinese and defeat in the second leg will signify financial woes and reputation havoc.
To add salt to wounds for Wenger, key play maker Samir Nasri is certain to secure a £25 million move to Manchester City in the coming days ensuring a Summer where three key players in Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Nasri have departed.
Comments have arisen that this is the worst Arsenal squad in Wenger's tenure and that the Gunners' have little chance of retaining their place in the notorious "op Four"of the English Premier League.
Fans have also thrown criticism towards Wenger after the Frenchman was only able to sign Gervinho from OSC Lille and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton this Summer.
Reinforcements are required at the Emirates, few will argue, but with limited time remaining in the transfer window, it is unlikely the Arsenal manager will be able to attract the big names he desires. Here is the starting XI Arsene Wenger should have achieved.
Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny
For once the goalkeeper position was not the utmost concern for Arsene Wenger after the emergence of Wojciech Szczesny in 2010/2011 alongside the enhanced maturity and development of Lukasz Fabianski.
The latter was unfortunate to sustain a severe elbow injury during the recent season that curtailed his development but Szczesny on the other hand has been a revelation.
The 21-year-old is a smart, safe, composed presence who continues to grow with each game. A natural leader and commanding figure, particularly from set pieces and crosses which had become a lingering frailty for Arsenal.
The Poland international is only set to improve which signifies exciting times for Arsenal.
Right Back: Bacary Sagna
The renowned defender is considered one of the best right backs in World Football with his efficient defending, non nonsense tackling, contributing work rate and impressive attacking prowess.
With over 175 Arsenal appearances, Wenger boasts a safe presence in the France international.
Right Centre Back: Christopher Samba
A new centre half was suppose to be Wenger's main transfer target after last season exposed the frailty the Arsenal defence can sometimes possess.
However, the Frenchman has been unable to secure a high calibre figure despite endless rumours.
Many feel the Frenchman should have signed Blackburn captain Christopher Samba, who possessed a huge desire to join the Emirates, making it publicly clear.
The DR Congo enforcer was rumoured to be available at around £14-17 million furthermore Wenger had the option of lowering the amount by offering Ignasi Miguel, Henri Lansbury and Kyle Bartley as part of the deal.
Samba immensely imposing figure along side his experience and natural leadership would have been hugely beneficial for Wenger. At 6ft4 and impressive speed, the 28-year-old is a physical and efficient defender whose size enable great attacking and defending aerial strength.
Furthermore, the ever reliable Laurent Koscielny to provide depth and relief alongside taking on the more fluent sides of England and Europe.
Left Centre Back: Thomas Vermaelen
Many believe that if the Belgian had not sustained a severe and persistent Achilles injury, that restricted Vermaelen to a mere five appearances in 2010/2012, then Arsenal would have certainly secured silverware in their ultimately disappointing campaign.
The 25-year-old is easily one of the best defenders in the English Premier League and now possessing the Arsenal vice captain role, Thomas Vermaelen is set for a big season.
Left Back: Kieran Gibbs
Many view veteran Gael Clichy's £7 million departure to Manchester City was a blessing.
In truth it appears beneficial as the Frenchman was past his prime and enduring a demise in form and calibre.
There were rumours Wenger was targeting the likes of Jose Enrique and Michael Bastos but in truth Kieran Gibbs was destined for the first choice left back role.
After patiently deputizing for Clichy for a number of years, impressing in his rare opportunities, the England international was always set to leapfrog or take over from Clichy. In the opening exchanges of the 2011/2012 season and pre-season, the 21-year-old has evoked positive comments.
Defensive Midfielder: Alexandre Song
The Cameroon international has emerged as one of the best defensive midfielders in World Football during recent seasons and the 24-year-old is destined to continue his rapid development in 2011/2012.
A strong, efficient and tenacious presence, Alexandre Song is a fan favourite at the Emirates.
However the former Bastia midfielder has marred his ability with a needless stamp on Joey Barton during the first week of the EPL which resulted in a three match suspension.
Attacking Midfielder: Riccardo Montolivo
Italian giants Fiorentina find themselves in a similar situation to Arsenal.
The Serie A outfit also have a key playmaker refusing to extend on their final year of their contract with the Lilies preparing to face the fact that Riccardo Montolivo will have to be sold this Summer or risk losing the midfielder for free next season.
The 25-year-old is regarded highly in World Football and possesses over 250 appearances in Italy.
A consistent presence in the Italian national squad and a natural leader, it is hard to dislike the Montolivo.
Like Manchester City have done with Samir Nasri, Arsenal should look to take advantage of the conundrum and sign one of the best play makers in Italy to fill the void left by Cesc Fabregas. Wenger has the funds and the space whilst Montolivo has the ability, speed, intelligence and calibre.
Attacking Midfielder: Jack Wilshere
The 2010/2011 PFA Young Player of the Year is set to improve on last seasons phenomanal campaign.
The 19-year-old is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and is the heart and soul of the Gunners'.
Destined to become a future captain and great, Arsenal fans are praying for Jack Wilshere to regain fitness.
Right Wing: Theo Walcott
The Englishman was impressive last season, amassing a career best thirteen goals during 2010/2011 and concluding the campaign as one of Arsenal's best.
Walcott's speed is devastating and if the Englishman can achieve a more clinical approach to his game alongside Wenger granting the 22-year-old an opportunity as a striker, then Premier League defences must be warned.
Left Wing: Juan Mata
The Valencia, soon to be Chelsea, winger was heavily linked with the Gunners' and it appeared Wenger was set to appease Arsenal fans desires of big name signings.
The Spaniard is considered one of the best wingers in the La Liga and was available for around £18-23 million.
With Samir Nasri destined to depart, the 23-year-old would be a huge signing for the Gunners' and better yet Mata desired a move to the Emirates.
However, Wenger was unable to agree to a deal and the move fell through. Juan Mata secured 41 appearances and nine goals for Valencia during 2010/2011 but previous seasons had commanded 14 goals respectively and was integral in Spain's U-21 European Championship success, is set to join Chelsea for £25 million.
Striker: Robin Van Persie
The Arsenal captain, who amassed eighteen goals in seventeen Premier League appearances during 2011, is set to lead from the front in 2011/2012.
He continues to convey brilliant foot work, skill and score amazing goals.
Whether or nor the Dutchman should be partnered up front to enable a more creative, less work demanding role, remains to be unseen but it was certain Wenger does not need to spend heavily on out and out strikers.