Around this time last season, Arsenal fans were having to deal with the thought of losing Samir Nasri as well as Cesc Fabregas. While many didn't believe Fabregas would leave the Emirates, others believed Nasri would make his way to the Etihad Stadium.
One year later, and after many different approaches and comments from Arsene Wenger, Arsenal is in an arm wrestling match with Robin Van Persie. With one year left on his contract and a number of top-level clubs looking to take him away from the Emirates, Arsenal is working around the clock to get the Dutch striker to prolong his contract with Arsenal FC.
Arsene Wenger's approach this summer had to be that of someone looking to build a title team in an attempt to show Van Persie that he was serious. Having said that, Wenger has already signed German International Lukas Podolski, and appears to be on the verge of signing French International Olivier Giroud.
With one experienced offensive option secured and a potential second on the way, Wenger will now have to look to his back line for some improvements.
The way Laurent Koscielny has played over the last year, all signs would point to him being the starter along side Thomas Vermaelen. The two can and should form a very solid partnership, but as Arsenal fans have seen in the past, the Gunners back line tends to have its mental lapses.
Having gone through the initial disaster last season before Wenger decided to jump into the transfer market, you would think that some players may have matured. Per Mertesacker will also be returning from injury which will be a big boost. He doesn't look to have the experience in the English Premier League to be considered a starter, but Wenger might think differently.
If you look at Arsenal's squad on paper, you would think that the back line would have to be one of the main focal points for this offseason's transfer speculations. Bacary Sagna picked up another leg injury that will keep him out for some time, raising questions as to whether he will continue to suffer from these sorts of injuries. The replacement as of right now for the French International is Carl Jenkinson, and at such a young age Wenger may be asking too much of him to be a regular starter at Arsenal.
As the rumors continue to pour in regarding possible transfers, Wenger should seriously consider signing an experienced center back. We have all seen the number of injuries that Arsenal has to deal with every season, and not preparing for these types of things could see them end up in another season with no silverware.
Will Sebastien Squillaci part ways with Arsenal this offseason or will Wenger use his experience when he rotates the squad in the Carling Cup and FA Cup? Having been so inconsistent in his time in the main squad, Squillaci may have lost his opportunity to even be an option.
Podolski and Giroud should be a great compliment to Robin Van Persie this upcoming season. Not only will they take away the pressure of goal scoring from Van Persie, but they will also give the Gunners another dangerous option going forward.
Mikel Arteta and Alex Song will certainly continue to anchor the midfield, while rumors of a potential signing of Yann M'Vila continue to swirl. The French international would not only be an incredible addition for Arsenal, but he would be that Patrick Vieira-type player that Arsenal has been missing for years.
With one or two solid purchases and the re-signing of Robin Van Persie, Arsene Wenger may finally have an opportunity to claim silverware without having to use the excuse of a young team. Arsenal could be considered a title contender, and although not the favorites to win the Premier League, they would certainly have the talent to cause problems.
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