Whether Arsenal conclude the campaign with silverware or not, it remains clear that there is a busy summer of recruitment ahead for head coach Unai Emery.
The Gunners, who finished fifth in the Premier League table, get the chance to land a valuable Champions League place if they can get their hands on a pot when they face Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan later this month.
If Emery’s men can beat the Blues they will grab a place in Europe’s leading competition and with that standing comes an added bonus to potential recruits, who could be lured by the prospect of dining at the top table.
Of course, Emery has his targets. But he probably won’t be spending big to lure established players looking for a pay day — with a war chest of around £100million he can’t afford to splash the cash on superstars, rather investing in potential, much like he did with both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
Former Gunners defender Nigel Winterburn believes Emery needs to prioritise three positions and add a winger, a midfielder and a no-nonsense defender to his squad.
He said: “I’d like to see a pacy attacking wide player come to the club, potentially another midfield player and there is a lot being said about the need to strengthen in defence. But I think Emery may be looking at the likes of Rob Holding, who had a fantastic six months and then picked up a serious knee injury. He was coming through and looking very, very consistent.
“Everyone will say that defensively Arsenal haven’t been great again this season but it’s not just about the defence. It’s about when they do concede how quickly they get played through the lines. I’m quite excited about what’s going to happen to Arsenal next season and I’m very intrigued to see where Emery thinks Arsenal need strengthening.
“My own thoughts are a wide player, another midfielder and potentially another centre-half. But I can’t see much more than that coming into the club because we’re hearing that Arsenal haven’t got a vast amount of money to spend.”
Meanwhile, playmaker Mesut Oil doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, despite rumours he is on his way out of the London club. Quizzed on his status, he said: “I don’t think there’s a chance of moving to be honest. I’ve got two more years here and what happens afterwards is not in my hands. We’ll see then, but I’m proud to be at this club and really happy at this club.”
Ozil has lifted the lid on how he copes with being side-lined by Emery, adding: “If the coach speaks to me and tells me I won’t play in a game it’s something I need to accept and just get on with it.
“I’ve carried on working on making myself as fit and healthy as I could and it’s worked out for me. Now I’m playing, but of course it’s the coach’s decision if I play or not. I’ve had some injuries this season and I’ve had to miss some games. But I know when I’m fit I’ll play matches. I know the quality I have. I think everyone has their qualities and mine are at No 10.
“If the coach wants me to do something and play somewhere else, you have to accept it and do that. That’s something I’ve done and as a player and you just need to get on with what you’re told.”