When you ask yourself the question of which positions Arsenal need to focus on strengthening this summer you think of the spine of the team. A new centre-back, central midfielder and attacking midfielder wouldn’t go amiss. A new right-back, however, shouldn’t be in the question whatsoever.
The Gunners’ toothless Europa League final performance told viewers all they need to know about the current state of the squad Unai Emery inherited from Arsene Wenger.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was one of Arsenal’s more mistake-prone players in the 4-1 thrashing from Chelsea, but he’s still undeveloped and Hector Bellerin will return from injury next season.
According to Belgian football expert Kristoff Terreur though, cited by talkSPORT, Thomas Meunier is expected to leave Paris Saint-Germain for up to £25million this summer and Arsenal have been regularly linked with him already.
It’s no secret the Gunners will need more than a few new acquisitions ahead of the 2019-20 campaign if there are improve on 5th and get back into the Champions League, but the limited funds Emery has to spend should go towards positions that actually need change.
If I was in the Spaniard’s shoes, I would prioritise a replacement for Aaron Ramsay, whilst also keeping a keen eye on the market for a centre-back worthy to partner Sokratis – one of a few positives from this season.
It’ll be very interesting to see if Arsenal’s reported interest in Meunier materialises though, or whether the club does, in fact, focus its attention elsewhere.
Positions Arsenal must focus on improving this summer
Sokratis was a great signing but he needs a quality partner in the heart of the defence. Monreal can do a job there but he’s ageing, Mustafi isn’t up to standard and Holding and Mavropanos are still young.
Kolasinac’s Europa League final performance should tell Emery all he needs to know about whether Arsenal need a new left-back or not. His crossing isn’t good enough.
It’s unbelievable how Arsenal are letting Ramsay, the club’s best midfielder by some distance, depart on a free transfer. He’ll leave a massive hole in an already-shaky midfield and finding his replacement should be the main priority.
It’d be wise for Arsenal to cash in on Ozil this summer. He’s missed large chunks of the season and when he has played, he’s ghosted on far too many occasions. He will need replacing though.
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Arsenal morning news round-up – 22nd August 2019