This summer is set to be a very different one for Arsenal and for positive reasons. For the first time in what seems like an eternity, they are set to build on their squad rather than trying to rebuild one.
It was Robin Van Persie last year and Cesc Fabregas the year before that. Too often, the Gunners have gone into the close season with a cloud hanging over the future of a key player.
At the end of the current campaign though, it is all about building on what is there. You can never rule it out with Arsenal, but the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla all look set to stay.
There is a question mark over Bacary Sagna, but in truth, Arsenal have had to replace more important players than him over the years.
Lukas Podolski is the subject of speculation too, but he appears happy at the Emirates. The German had a good spell towards the end of the campaign and there is more to come – no doubt.
So, Arsenal achieved fourth position against the odds this season and now they have the chance to build on it. There is no ‘who will replace…’ or ‘will he stay?’ discussions going on.
Make no mistake, there was plenty to be positive about in the final third of the season as well. This group of players can be successful on all fronts and even more so if two or three new players are added.
The defence has looked a lot more solid, the competition for places in midfield is significant and up front, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski have all chipped in.
This is definitely the area that needs a big signing though. Arsene Wenger simply has to bring in a top quality striker. Christian Benteke would be a good shout in this regard. He has been superb for Aston Villa.
And let’s stress again, this is to add to the strike force Arsenal already have – not to replace anyone. All top teams have at least three out and out strikers they can call upon – Wenger needs the same.
Benteke, Giroud, Podolski and Walcott would be a good start and you would be tempted to add another new signing in their too.
Overall, Arsenal fans should be excited by what is to come in the transfer market – not dreading it. It was a massive achievement to finish 4th (as depressing as that sounds) and now is the time to kick on.
In five years time, we still want Walcott, Wilshere and co in this Arsenal team, with a few medals around their neck as well.
Keep The Faith and enjoy the summer!