Where do you even begin with the direction Arsenal should take moving forward in this transfer window?
It hasn’t been long since Arsene Wenger, the Gunners’ long-time manager, stepped down and ended a long, successful era of Arsenal football. However, every Arsenal supporter knows that the Frenchman hasn’t succeeded in the latter years of his reign.
Those days are long behind them, however, as they look forward to a new future. Fans are looking for the latest bit of Arsenal news over the summer window as they anticipate Unai Emery’s maiden voyage in the Premier League.
The club has already seen a bit of a roster shuffle ever since the summer took over. There were some interesting additions and losses that have made the current look of the squad an interesting one indeed.
However, the window is still far from over and there is over a month left of football before Emery can finalise the composition of his squad. Making key acquisitions can immediately transform his squad into instant title contenders, and he must make his moves here.
However, we must look at what Arsenal lost this summer in order to understand which players the Gunners should get in the window.
Key losses and possible departures
There haven’t been many losses among the Arsenal ranks. However, Arsenal are currently experiencing a drain of midfield talent.
They lost both Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, important players in Arsene Wenger’s teams during the early half of the 2010s, have left the Emirates for Villareal and West Ham, specifically.
While it’s very understandable that Cazorla was let go of the club for a free, it is a huge miss that they weren’t able to tie Wilshere down to a new contract before selling him off to the Hammers. They could have made a killing with the man who was left out of a very successful England squad in Russia given his performances for Arsenal when healthy.
While they have lost Per Mertesacker to retirement, they still have enough talent to supplement their back line. However, it seems like their keeper pool will take a hit: Petr Cech is linked to a return to Stamford Bridge while David Ospina is linked to a Mexican club.
Of course, rumours about Aaron Ramsey’s possible departure from the club will also leave the club with too many defenders and too few men to operate in the midfield. Moreover, Wenger had a lot of problems finding the perfect defensive line: the Gunners allowed the most amount of goals in the Top Six of last season’s Premier League with 51 conceded goals.
With that being said, these key signings could alter their future football results for the better.
Benjamin Pavard, VfB Stuttgart
Many of France’s faithful supporters had no idea who this young defender from a mediocre Bundesliga side is when players such as Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko are not named to the World Cup squad.
However, he made sure that everyone knew who he is after that brilliant strike against Argentina. He quickly made himself a darling among French fans and Arsenal fans after his superb defending helped Les Bleus lift the World Cup trophy a second time.
Of course, Emery must make a compelling offer quick: almost every big club will be after the young Stuttgart star. He must make his decision quick or he will see the 22-year-old defender sold as quickly as the many Juventus shirts donning Cristiano Ronaldo’s name.
If they want to get a keeper, however, Danijel Subasic is a worthy pick-up. The Monaco keeper played a sublime tournament in Russia, making many key saves.
Andre Gomes, Barcelona
Andre Gomes had a great debut season with Barcelona in 2016/17 but quickly found himself out of a regular spot in the Barcelona rotation over the past twelve months. It’s likely that he will have to leave Camp Nou if he wants to play more regular team football. He will have no shortage of suitors after a quality showing for Portugal during the World Cup.
He will fill up the gaping hole left behind by Cazorla and Wilshere in the creative role. Without the pressure of playing behind Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, Gomes will likely thrive in the central role, supplying through passes and lobs to either Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Given the midfield shortage the Gunners are experiencing, signing Gomes would be a masterstroke of an acquisition. While the man struggled to find a home in Barca, he should be able to flourish again under the less glaring lights of the Emirates.
Bernard, Without Club
Bernard is currently without a place to call home, but the Brazil international has proven his worth with the quality of play he showed for Shakhtar Donetsk. In his 95 league appearances for the Ukranian club, he has scored 14 goals and netted 24 assists.
The months following the January window showed just how much they missed the attacking talent of Alexis Sanchez on the wings. For Emery and Arsenal, finding a player of equal quality and gravitas as the Chile international would help them return to the lofty spots of the Champions League.
Sure, it would be nice to get a more famous name with the numerous Marco Reus and Ousmane Dembele highlights circulating the internet. However, both would probably too expensive for the North London club to acquire with the number of key players they also have to acquire.
Arsenal might be big favourites to snag Bernard, but they have huge rivals for his signature in Liverpool. It will be interesting who will get him in the end. Nevertheless, the Premier League will be blessed with the presence of another top football talent.
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