Arsenal's need to strengthen the team and the squad this summer goes without saying. With that in mind I'm going to have a look at a few of the players who could be coming our way and what they might offer to the club.
The transfer of Granit Xhaka has been done and dusted with the club confirming it officially today. He should certainly add some steel and an excellent range of passing to the midfield and he looks like exactly the type of player we we're crying out for.
After Xhaka there is still plenty of work to be done and I think we need a top class striker, a central defender and maybe even a wide player too. All of those players are needed if no more players leave, but additional exits will also mean we need to bring more players in. I would be surprised if a few of the fringe players or those who have fallen out of favour decided not to stay and this could easily be a summer of considerable change.
In the striker stakes the player we constantly hear about is Alvaro Morata, but his situation is complicated to say the least. He's with Juventus at the moment and Real Madrid have an option to buy him back at a very good price which they are predicted to do before selling him on for a healthy profit. Where Arsenal fit in is another thing, but it looks like we would have to break our transfer record to sign him and he could even become the top earner at the club too.
I don't claim to have seen him in action too often, but his goals return so far is hardly one to set the world on fire. He would probably get an awful lot of chances in an Arsenal team containing Mesut Ozil and it's a matter of whether he could put enough of those chances away. I'm no expert, but I would see him as a risky buy considering his goal return and I would imagine Arsenal would hardly want to take a risk with a record signing.
Central defenders aren't easy to come by though and Arsenal need at least one with Per Mertesacker most probably nearing the end of his career and the boss showing little faith in Calum Chambers. Whether Benatia is the right player for Arsenal or not is another question though and again I'm not sure he's what we're looking for. There's still plenty of time to go in this transfer window and hopefully time to find a central defender who might fit the bill a little more.
At the other end of the scale of central defenders is Bolton's Rob Holding who looks set to leave them after their relegation to League One. He's only 20 years old and has barely more than a handful of games under his collar, but he looks like a genuine prospect for the future. He's exactly the type of player the boss is so fond of signing, but maybe the team need a little more experience than Holding has to offer.
The centre of the defence has been a problem, but it's not the only position in the team that needs addressing. Laurent Koscielny is the first choice in the centre of the defence and it's not quite clear who the best partner for him is at the moment. Mertesacker has been the first choice for a few years, but he has seen better days and Gabriel Paulista seems less convincing with each passing game. The team clearly needs another central defender and if Holding does come in he will probably be one for the future.
With the possibility of Kieran Gibbs moving on in search of first team football this summer and Mathieu Debuchey almost certainly on his way there is certainly a need for at least one full back in the squad. Djibril Sibide would fit the mould as he can play as either a right back or a left back and he looks like he might have what it takes to play at a high level. He's still only 23 years old and his price wouldn't be so high that it might put Arsenal off buying him.
If the reports are to be believed the club have shown an interest in him and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they made a move for him. He fits the bill of a typical Arsene Wenger signing and he would certainly fill a place in the squad which looks like it might be empty very soon. It could be a case of waiting until either Gibbs or Debuchey or even both of them leave and then maybe we might just make a move for him.
Riyad Mahrez has had an exceptional season for Leicester and he was one of the main reasons they won the Premier League title. He was voted as the PFA player of the season and he has to be on the radar of so many clubs at the moment. He can join any club he chooses and if he decides to go Leicester will command a very high fee for him too.
He would be an excellent addition to the Arsenal team as his ability to take players on and beat them would be an asset to any team. He also scores more than his fair share of goals and creates plenty of chances for others too. He's had two seasons in the Premier League and he wouldn't have to adjust to it like some others might.
Mahrez looks like he would be an ideal signing for Arsenal and age is still on his side as he's only 25. They won't be the only club after him though and it won't be easy to get him away from a team who won't want to sell any of the players who won them the title. If Arsenal are going to challenge for the title next season he could be just the player they need to make a difference.
Sadio Mane is another player who's had a good season and has been heavily linked with Arsenal. He's shown the ability to take defenders on and beat them just like Mahrez and he can score with either foot. He creates his fair share of chances too and he also has a lot to offer Arsenal.
Given a choice I would prefer Mahrez over Mane, but either player would add something to the team and the squad. Mane nearly left Southampton in the January transfer window and I have no doubt he could be tempted by the right offer this summer too. Southampton have sold quite a few players over the last couple of years and they have managed to get a very good price for those players.
Those six players all give us something to at least think about, but there's no real way of knowing what Arsenal's intentions are in the transfer market this summer. The squad needs some real quality added to it and some of those players fit the bill without doubt. The anouncement of Xhaka's arrival is a great start and hopefully a few others will follow him very quickly.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.