It may only be March, but Arsenal has already had a busy season. Using the January transfer window to full effect, the club wasn’t backward in coming forward, with some major decisions made in the front office.
While we might have expected a more conservative approach, given the year previous, Arsenal put the pedal to the metal, making major changes to their line-up. This saw Matt Macey, Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, and Sokratis all terminate their contracts, with new faces drafted in to take their places.
While it was nice to see them so proactive, and heartening to note Arteta’s willingness to give academy graduates a chance, this slew of transfers hasn’t fixed every area of weakness for the team, which is why we’re looking forward to seeing what decisions are made come summer.
Here’s our humble take on the areas Arsenal should invest in the next time around.
The role of tech
Before we start speculating on the transfers that should take place, we wanted to take a minute to look at how video analysis tools and sites such as Wyscout are likely to impact this latest round of decision-making.
The latest tech innovation to burst onto the scene, these turn on a not-dissimilar concept to comparison tools in other industries, such as the directory sites that list internet casinos and betting sites. Bonusfinder/UK/ online gambling is an obvious example, offering a comprehensive bonus guide for online bettors. Its aim is simple: to save consumers the time and effort necessary to make manual comparisons between sites that offer the best bonuses, and odds for their team.
Wyscout and its ilk work in a similar way, making scouting far easier. Sifting through vast amounts of data, they can provide clubs with an automatic judgement on the suitability of a potential transfer, helping them to make the best and most objective decisions.
Even without the help of this new tech, it must be obvious to Arsenal’s front office that they could do with some additional support at left-back. Since the departure of Nacho Monreal last season and the loans of Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney has been left with minimal coverage.
This is an issue Arteta is clearly aware of, as he cited this as one of the team’s aims during the January transfer window. While Arsenal failed to secure a suitable candidate two months back, it seems a given they’ll try again this summer.
A younger player looks more likely than an established left-back, but whoever Arsenal goes with, filling this position will be at the forefront of their upcoming plans.
A backup keeper
In addition, a backup keeper is likely to feature in the club’s summer transfer plans. They’ll want to source someone solid and reliable, especially following last year’s high-risk purchase: Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson.
While the 25-year-old was an arguable steal at £1.3 million, he’s shown he needs more time to mature before reaching his full potential. To help with this, a loan might be a good idea. If this is the approach Arsenal goes with, their best bet would arguably be to sign a more experienced number two keeper for next season.
While there are certainly other areas where the team may want to invest, we feel these are the most pertinent as of now. While our first recommendation is pretty much a given, it will be interesting to see whether Arsenal also concur with our assessment re. their backup keeper.
What do you think will happen?