What should Santa bring Arsenal for Christmas?
In a season mixed with highs and lows, a season which saw the pressure on Arsene Wenger reaching unparalleled highs and a season which saw Arsene Wenger change his recruitment policy. It is clear Arsenal have come a long way from the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of their old great adversary, Manchester United but the question is how far have they really come? Are Arsenal now back at their best and capable of challenging for the title or does Santa need to bless Arsenal with a sprinkle of his magic to go that final step forward.
With the estimated transfer budget I will attempt to choose the players I think will help to bring back Arsenal into the big time and also determine if any of the squad are preventing the club in their hunt for trophies.
Transfer budget: £70 Million– I know other places have sources have shown a lower estimate I am confident that it is closer to £70m than £50m due to an initial budget of around £40m in the summer, we spent around £46 on summer arrivals and sold players to the value of £75m = over £69m
1) Robin Van Persie to sign a new contract –Perhaps more important than anything else for me given his importance to the team. It has long been known amongst Arsenal fans how good RVP is but his prolonged run without injuries has shown to the world the quality the rest of us have known all this time. If Wenger had one choice of a present at the moment I am sure it would be the signature of Robin Van Persie on a brand new contract.
2) Signing Mario Goetze –The Dortmund superstar has shown all season his undoubted quality and he is certainly a player we have missed in parts this season. Games such as the one against Fulham or more recently Aston Villa where we have had to rely on a seemingly exhausted Aaron Ramsey who despite a bright start to the season has struggled to maintain his form and be the mantle that our attacking play relies on. I know he will be expensive but would certainly add the quality and attacking edge required.
3) Selling Marouane Chamakh– The Moroccan international has had a somewhat torrid time as of late and despite a bright start has failed to really do anything good. He still has his fans but even the most ardent of his supporters I think have lost all hope. I personally never thought he was good enough but would have loved to be proved wrong. It is essential he is sold for the good of Arsenal with a replacement bought in.
4) Selling Andrei Arshavin– This is quite the opposite of Chamakh in that this is a player I expected to really shine this season especially with the need for a new attacking outlet. He however has performed at a level which would be unacceptable for a Sunday league game. The fact that his work rate is poor is frustrating enough but the fact that he has in recent games struggled to even control simple balls in indicative of the fact that he has come to the end of his tether at Arsenal and must be shipped off to the highest bidder.
5) Signing Eden Hazard– This is looking less and less likely due to the regard he is currently held in by the world at the moment and his seemingly endless options however it is clear that Arsenal would greatly benefit from another attacking option. We would undoubtedly have the strongest attacking lineup in the Premier League with the addition of both Hazard and Goetze.
6) Signing Fernando Torres– This could perhaps be one of the dumbest things I have hoped for but I have not really understood the decline of Fernando Torres. It is clear that a combination of injuries and confidence have resulted in him being shit. I think Wenger could be the man to turn that around. He has done it in the past and I wouldn’t bet against him doing it again. The one thing is I would not sign him unless it was on the cheap and he took a massive wage decrease both of which I do not see happening but it could happen, you never know?
7) Signing Thierry Henry on loan– Perhaps the signing most Arsenal fans want to see. Aside from the obvious appeal in bringing back a legend it would be pretty amazing having Henry in the match day squad and to backup the best striker in world football. Who better to have as an alternative then the record breaking Frenchman? Especially when options will be severely limited due to the African Cup approaching.
8) Loan out promising stars to Premier League teams – This one is pretty self explanatory, stars such as Frimpong, Miyachi and maybe even Coquelin are going to struggle getting games especially with Wilshire coming back. They will need to have premier League experience to improve to ensure they can challenge for places in the side next season.
9) Loaning/signing a full back– Given the almost crisis situation with our full backs you would think I would put this higher on the list but considering that in a month we could have our two first choice full backs return a new signing seems a bit illogical. The only alternative would be a short term loan but this would require it to be a player that is not needed at another club. If a player is not needed at their own club it is unlikely that they are going to come in and improve our team so for that reason, unless something/someone is on the radar I find it unlikely that this will happen.
10) Theo Walcott to sign a new contract – After a stop start career for Arsenal, Walcott has demonstrated recently that he is able to become the player many hoped he would. He has added a bit more consistency to his game which has resulted in better performances and him being far more effective. Whilst he is by no means the finished article he is showing good character and I think it would represent another blow if he does not sign a new contract.
So this is what I think Santa should bring Arsene Wenger. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas from GoonerVerse! Enjoy the day!