The woeful inadequacies within the Arsenal squad were brought into sharp focus with an absolutely woeful defeat at Leicester City — which left the Gunners with the unenviable record of three Premier League defeats on the bounce.
With players like Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil missing from the ranks, manager Unai Emery saw his team suffer a damaging 3-0 reverse in the Premier league clash yesterday at the King Power Stadium.
The paucity of players that Emery can choose from shows that’s if he is to transform the fortunes of Arsenal he must ready himself for a busy summer of recruitment. Arsenal need at least six top-notch players, and probably more. Emery has been forced to rely on second-rate squad players and youngsters as his side battle for a top four spot in the top-flight.
But it hasn’t paid off. The defeat to the Foxes came swiftly after 3-1 hammering at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday. Just three days before that Arsenal had been humbled at the Emirates Stadium by Crystal Palace, who chalked up a 3-2 victory.
In defence, Arsenal can look forward to the return of Hector Bellerin; the speedy Spanish full-back has been sidelined for the majority of the season but is on the road to recovery and will be like a new signing for the Gunners manager. But Bellerin is just one bonus for the Arsenal back line, which looks far from solid. And with players such as Shkodran Mustafi surely being shown the exit, Emery surely has to bolster his back line. One player who is available for recruitment come the end of the season is Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, who has fallen foul of the management at United and is available for transfer. It is been reported that Emery could land the player for around £20million, which is £10million shy of what the Old Trafford giants paid Villareal for him in 2016.
But the recruitment shouldn’t be confined to the rear guard. Ramsey, as has been mentioned, is on his way to Juventus –with many Arsenal supporters aghast that this move has been sanctioned. It means that the Gunners will need to find an attacking midfielder with an eye or goal to sit in front of the defensive midfielders.
When it comes to firepower Arsenal look to be in reasonable shape with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette seemingly the answer in front of goal. But if it is decided that Ozil is to be sold the Gunners will also need to find a gifted playmaker to provide creativity going forward.
The one thing in Emery’s favour with supporters is the fact that he has inherited the majority of his squad and many fans feel that this summer will be a true reflection on his power to recruit top class players and mould them into an efficient outfit, one which can challenge for silverware.
That said, the North London outfit can still can finish in the top four and secure Champions League football and can still look forward to a Europa League semi-final clash against Valencia on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium. Winning a piece of silverware in his first season will be deemed successful for Emery and the bonus is that doing so provides a Champions League berth. One way or another it is going to be a busy Summer at Arsenal – expect big changes in personnel.