Arsene Wenger surprisingly admitted earlier this summer that he would bring in at least three more signings before the transfer window slams shut on August 31.
Having brought down only Granit Xhaka so far, he is now rumoured to be eyeing transfers for many a world-beater such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Medhi Benatia.
With the UEFA European Championship taking all the limelight, the number of speculations emanating from the rumour mill has gone down considerably, though the Gunners are definitely working behind the closed doors to seal deals for their targets.
However, they will need to make more than just three top notch signings this summer.
The time is now
In the recent past, players whom the N5 club extensively scouted have often ended up signing for their direct rivals. One needs to look no further than Chelsea, who signed Eden Hazard and Juan Mata just under their nose.
However, they can now bypass the Chelsea hurdle as the latter are now devoid of the pull of the UEFA Champions League. Besides, the fact that their local rivals are now embarking on a mini-transition period will suffice to make Arsenal the obvious choice for the targets of both clubs.
Manchester United’s reputation is currently going down the drain, and the once infamous club can lately not attract big names after years and years of misery.
However, odds are high that the new manager in Jose Mourinho will reinstate the club’s status, and the prospect of playing under a successful manager, who can promise trophies, should be tempting.
With Mourinho certain to finish within the Champions League places next season, United will again become a business menace for the Emirates Stadium outfit. By the looks of things, Mourinho will likely attempt to make wholesale changes to his squad in the coming years, and the greater their needs become, the more annoying a transfer business rival do they become.
Although United’s local rivals Manchester City can already offer Champions League football and the chance to play for a Josep Guardiola team, they will look to hijack Arsenal’s targets next summer more than they may do this summer as he will have known whom to axe by the end of his first season.
Guardiola will likely be a long-term project, at least in Sheikh Mansour’s eyes, and should the Spaniard chooses to buck the trend by staying beyond three years, it is certain that he will be more aggressive in the next summer’s transfer window.
Twelve first-teamers are already on the wrong side of 30, and the former Barcelona coach will hope to replace them with world-class individuals.
In addition, the emergence of Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, and Everton will only make bringing down their targets trickier than it has ever been.
The influx of money pumped into those clubs may serve to make them as relevant as Arsenal are.
The Wenger lure will wear off
Many Arsenal faithful believe that their club’s 2015/16 had been a failure, but it will turn out to be one should Wenger fails to capitalise on their rival’s dip and their relative success in the transfer market this summer.
Arsenal should make hay while the sun shines.
On top of all these, the lure of Wenger will be a thing of the past as the Frenchman is pencilled in to leave the club at the end of the next campaign. Many players, including Mesut Ozil, spoke highly of the polarising figure upon his arrival.
Arsenal may go on to lose their ability to attract world-class talents as they embark on their transition period after his departure.
Arsenal should strive not to emulate United’s post-Alex Ferguson years when Wenger leaves.
Written by Praveen Paramasivam
Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen
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