From an Arsenal perspective not an awful lot has happened since I last wrote about Arsenal with no additional high profile signings to the early arrival of Granit Xhaka. It's been interesting watching Euro 2016 and I have to say I was impressed with his performances for Switzerland. He looks like a perfect addition to the Arsenal squad for me and I think he will be well suited to life in the Premier League.
Of course there was the protracted negotiations with Jamie Vardy who ultimately decided to remain at Leicester City. I was more than a little surprised when Vardy turned Arsenal down and I can't help thinking it's a decision he might come to regret. You have to admire his loyalty to Leicester, but his chances of adding to the Premier League trophy he won last season would surely be better in the right end of North London.
With the demise of the Vardy deal Arsenal are a little lost in their search for a new striker and it's a position they clearly need to add at least one player in. The goal return last season simply wasn't good enough and we are wasting the talents of Mesut Ozil by not providing him with the class of striker he deserves. As good as Olivier Giroud might be he does not possess the pace to be considered a top class striker for me.
With Danny Welbeck out for at least another seven months and Theo Walcott showing he's just not a striker the options up front for Arsenal are severely limited unless we sign someone very soon. Giroud won't be back from his Euro 2016 adventure with France for a fair few weeks yet, but the new season kicks off in just over five weeks when we play Liverpool. Some of the Arsenal players are already back in pre season training even as Euro 2016 comes to a conclusion for Giroud and Laurent Koscielny on Sunday.
We did of course sign Takuma Asano, but he's one for the future and he'll be playing at the Olympics for Japan in a few weeks which will rule him out of our squad for a while. Even if he was available the chances are he won't get a work permit and will have to be loaned out for a season or two. Imagine the confusion in English football if the anti immigrant voters get their wish and work visas will be needed by all non UK players in a few years.
The rumours linking us to strikers continue unabated as our need grows greater. Antoine Greizmann showed last night exactly what he has to offer, but like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang I can't see Arsenal matching the asking price if either player was available. Plenty of other names have been mentioned, but it's hard to see who we can get who might make a real difference and at a price Arsenal would be willing to pay too.
There's a very real possibility of the season starting without Giroud, Koscielny and Mesut Ozil while Alexis Sanchez continues to recover from the ankle injury he picked when winning the Copa America with Chile. The prospect of starting the season without those four players is a worrying one and hopefully it won't come to that.
Besides the need for a striker the team/squad needs a central defender, a full back and a wide player too. I don't pretend to be in the know or have inside information from anyone at the club, but I do know there needs to be some serious business done and it needs to be done quickly. The transfer window only officially opened last week and doesn't close until the end of August, but the sooner any business is done the better. All new arrivals need time to settle in and the few weeks of pre season training with the rest of the team is the best way for them to do just that.
Plenty of Arsenal players have impressed with their countries at Euro 2016 with Aaron Ramsey, Giroud, Koscielny, Ozil and Xhaka looking the part. Jack Wilshere didn't get too much of a chance with England, but hopefully we will finally get to see the real player next season with no injuries affecting him. There's plenty to look forward to in the upcoming season and just maybe a fit Wilshere could be the highlight of the season.
With the new season we will also see the return of Fantasy Premier League and my Predictions League too. The predictions league went well for me last season and I have continued that form in a Euro 2016 predictions competition in my local pub with a very real chance of winning it or at least claiming one of the four cash prizes with only the final game to play. Hopefully I can improve on an abysmal season for my fantasy team which led to my worst ever finish in the 10 years I've being playing the game in it's current format. I look forward to running my league again and of course offering a €50 cash prize to the winner too. I'll post the details as soon as the game is up and running for the new season.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.