The three sensible signings that could lead Arsenal to Premier League titlePublished August 15, 2016
Arsene Wenger has seen his side start the new campaign with a bump, fielding inexperienced centre-backs due to a lack of investement in that area as well as having to do without a recognised central striking weapon, losing 4-3 at home to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
The Arsenal boss always opts to respond to criticism of his transfer policy by stating that his side can’t outspend the likes of Man City, Man United and Chelsea, a statement that no one can disagree with.
However his spending is more akin to a mid-table side than a club looking to challenge for major titles.
It’s true that things in this area have improved with Arsenal having dug deep for the signings of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka in recent seasons, but they are still a country mile behind their rivals.
This is unforgivable given just how profitable the Emirates Stadium side are but even if you take Wenger’s ethos into account, the Gunners boss could still look to bring in ‘realistic’ and ‘sensible’ options, such as the trio below, who could lead to Wenger’s side challenging for the title in what could be his last season in charge of Arsenal.
Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia)
The German international is a fast improving talent who is a very realistic target to help boost Arsenal’s defensive options.
Though Valencia are currently demanding Arsenal foot the £42m release clause on the 24-year-old’s contract the La Liga side are likely to fold and ask for a fee far lower if the player himself demands an exit.
Arsenal fans must be praying a move for Mustafi would bring to an end speculation of a bid for West Brom’s decidedly average defender Jonny Evans.
Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)
The French international forward has long been an Arsene Wenger target and the North London side have seen a £29m bid rejected by the Ligue 1 side this summer.
The prolific Ligue 1 star has spoken about his interest in leaving Lyon and despite netting a hat-trick for the club in their season opener it’s likely a move away will happen before the transfer window slams shut.
Arsenal would do well to make a fresh offer nearer to £40m to make sure the deal is done.
A move for Lacazette is a far more plausible option to the likes of reported targets such as Gonzalo Higuain, and a better fit than the likes of Wilfried Bony, who wouldn’t offer Arsenal an improvement on what they can currently call upon.
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Anyone who viewed the Algerian international’s display in the Foxes opening weekend defeat to Hull City will have to come to the conclusion that the winger has his mind on other things.
Riyad Mahrez has completed just 1 of the 6 take-ons he's attempted vs. Hull.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 13, 2016
Not his greatest game so far. pic.twitter.com/6vk0tnZ4BB
Arsene Wenger is known to being courting Mahrez and a move for the Algerian international wouldn’t break the bank and the 25-year-old is a proven Premier League attacking weapon and arguably a far more effective option in the final third than the likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell.
Claudio Ranieri wouldn’t want to lose Mahrez but if the player himself made it clear he wanted to leave then the Italian would have to make a real judgement call on such a deal. After all there is little point in keeping a player who wants to leave.
Weak, injury prone and inexperienced squad
Arsenal found themselves without Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista for their opener against Liverpool and were forced to use Calum Chambers (in only his 20th Premier League start for the club), and new signing Rob Holding (for his top tier debut) and that inexperience was all too evident.
Another player found wanting was Francis Coquelin, a player who would arguably have been shipped off long ago had Wenger had a strong bank of alternatives. Indeed the Frenchman was on loan at Charlton Athletic before he was brought back during an earlier injury crisis around Xmas 2014.
Up front without Olivier Giroud to call upon Wenger had to opt for either Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott to lead the line and though the England man had one of his better games he did miss what proved to be a key spot-kick.
Wenger possesses a very capable squad but once again, as with the last few campaigns, they are just short of the two or three additions that could make all the difference.
The aforementioned trio could be just the ticket.