This summer will be Arsene Wenger’s penultimate if he sees out his contract and leaves at the end of the 2016/2017 season. Therefore there is bound to be a lot of activity as the French manager will look to go out in style and give the coveted Premier League trophy one more go.
Wenger has proved that he is willing to spend, now that his club are no longer under financial constraints over paying off the debt of their stadium. The £42.5 million and £35 million arrivals of big names in Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez are respectively testament to Arsene Wenger’s willingness to spend, and with more top class players needed, this summer could be the window we bring them in.
Firstly, outgoings. Rather than refer to the release of players like Abou Diaby, I will focus in more on the larger money transfers that could occur.
1) Lukas Podolski (£12 million). The experienced German is likely to be one to go, what with his lack of game time this season when he was at the club and his disappointing form at Inter Milan where he is currently on loan. Podolski, despite being popular on social media, cannot replicate this popularity with the manager who has openly stated that Podolski does not fit into Arsenal’s new system of high pressing. As clinical as the forward may be, he is very lazy defensively and cannot work in this style of play. He will be 30 in the summer and will almost certainly move on from the Gunners.
2) Joel Campbell (£10 million). The young Costa Rican World Cup star has played very few games for Arsenal and has found himself very much a part-player. He has failed to score in an Arsenal shirt and found himself down the pecking order at the start of the season. He was loaned to Villareal as a part of the deal to sign Gabriel, and has not been extraordinary there either. He is very young and Arsene Wenger said in the summer that Campbell was part of his plans, but with Walcott’s return and Danny Welbeck’s signature it is very difficult to see the Costa Rican have a future at the club.
3) Theo Walcott (£20 million). The 26 year old, who of course has that British premium to boost his price, has had very little game time this season and has even struggled to get in to the team during squad rotations. His versatility, pace and eye for goal demonstrate his ability and talent. However he has struggled with Arsenal recently, and with complicated ongoing contract negotiations Arsenal may well look to cash in on him this summer.
Given Arsenal’s reported war chest of £40 million in addition to the £42 million raised with the three above transfers, Arsenal may have an expenditure of £82 million.
1) Paulo Dybala (£30 million). The Argentinian striker is young, quick and clinical which is just what Arsenal need in front of the likes of Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla. Dybala has been compared to Aguero due to his creative style of play. He is only 21 and Arsenal are confirmed to be in for him. Given his potential, £30 million may look too much now but may prove to be a bargain in the future.
2) Morgan Schneiderlin (£20 million). The defensive midfielder is young, proven and wants Champions League football. He’s got Arsenal written all over him. Coquelin has been impressive this season, but in big games like Monaco at home, he has been unable to deal solely with an attacking midfield trio. A partnership between Coquelin and Schneiderlin would be one I would hope to see at the Emirates, and with Arsenal in a good position to maintain their consistent run of Champions League qualification, it is entirely feasible to see the Southampton midfielder in an Arsenal shirt next season.
3) Mats Hummels (£32 million). Would be the perfect addition to our squad as he’s experienced, full of energy and a fan of the Premier League. He acts as the last line of defence which would benefit our unproven keeper, and is a leader. He has a taste of victory with none other than a World Cup medal, and would be an improved replacement for fellow compatriot Per Mertesacker.
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