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Arsenal is one of the leading contenders for winning the Premier League title every year, but the last time they won: it was in the 2003-04 season.
The champion’s squad was full of stars (Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Fredrik Ljungberg, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell) when Arsenal became the second team in history who won the domestic title unbeaten.
Thirteen years have passed, and Arsenal’s fans are still waiting. Few times they were close, but in the last couple of seasons, the dream has ended very soon.
So, let’s see what the Gunners need in next season to bring the trophy to the Emirates Stadium.
A couple of players – a world class striker and a proper defensive midfielder
It seems like Arsene Wenger is still looking for a new Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira. In the 2003-04 Premier League season, Thierry Henry scored 30 goals!
And that is a number which Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott can only dream about. These two guys are way off Henry’s standard, and while Alexis Sanchez was the primary force in the Gunners attack, he is a player who’s the best as a second striker or a winger.
There are a lot of rumors about Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, and even Thierry Henry stated how great an addition he would be. Lacazette bagged 37 goals in 45 appearances last season in all competitions (28 goals in Ligue 1), and established himself as one of the best strikers in Europe.
He is 26-years old, and it is time for a new challenge in his career. Arsenal could be a perfect place for the Frenchman as he would probably adapt well and quickly to Wenger’s philosophy.
Lacazette has good technique, and he is not just a clinical finisher. He has excellent dribbling skills, he can pass, and he can hold the ball. He looks ready to play in the toughest competition, and he’s certainly aware of expectations if he signs for Arsenal.
And what about a new Patrick Vieira? Last season the Gunners paid €40 million for Granit Xhaka, and they got an average defensive midfielder who can make the difference in Monchengladbach. But in the Premier League, he looked lost.
Granit is only 24-years old, and maybe there is still time for him to improve, but we are going to see whether Arsene Wenger will be patient with the Swiss international.
Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin are solid players, too, but they are pretty limited offensively.
When Ramsey was injured, there was a big hole in Arsenal’s midfield. The main problem is that there aren’t many players in this position who are available for transfer.
So, we’ll see how Arsene Wenger is going to solve this problem, but at least, he should have Santi Cazorla back from injury, which will be the significant boost to his midfield.
Keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil
There is a lot of speculation about Alexis’ future in the last couple of months. He’s entering the final year of his contract, but if the Gunners want to win the title, they must keep their best player.
The same situation is with Mesut Ozil. These two guys proved so many times how important they are for Wenger’s squad.
Sanchez had 24 goals and ten assists to his name, and Ozil added eight goals and nine assists. A huge impact, no doubt, and if Arsenal decide to sell one of them it is going to be a massive loss.
But if they want to keep them, the new world-class arrivals are necessary.
Concentrate only on the Premier League
The Gunners will play in the Europa League next season, so this could be a chance to focus all their strength to win a Premier League.
No excuses, no FA Cup, just one big goal – the Premier League trophy. Wenger should let the youngsters play in Europe and stay focused on one thing.
All other leading contenders will play in the Champions League, so this could be a chance for Arsenal to bring the trophy back to their shelves.
Written by Oliver Zivic
Follow Oliver on Twitter @guli86
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