With Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie committing their long term futures to Arsenal during the closed season, the Gunners’ frontline, for the next season at least, looks impressive.
Whether Emmanuel Adebayor remains in North London remains to be seen. If he is sold I’d expect Arsene Wenger to sign a replacement striker. But even without Ade-cool our strike force consists of RvP, Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Walcott and Eduardo - all internationalists. And then you have talent such as Jay Simpson and Gilles Sunu on the fringes.
But what about elsewhere in our squad?
Well, click the 'read more' link below for a breakdown of who we have available for each position. This is purely a paper exercise, but the point of it is to generate some debate about which positions should be Arsenal’s priorities to bring in new talent...
Goalkeepers - Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone.
For my money, this is our biggest problem area. If Almunia gets injured, as he did last season, Fabianski steps in and I’m just not convinced he’s ready yet. An experience older head coming in to challenge Almunia would be welcome.
Left back - Gael Clichy, Mikael Silvestre, Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore. The weak link here is the elder statesman, but otherwise we have enough cover.
Central defence - William Gallas, Kolo Toure, Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou, Phillipe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre, Alex Song.
Again we should be sorted here, but injuries meant we didn’t have sufficient cover last season and I’d like to see Silvestre move to a smaller club and someone with a bit of height brought in. Mind you, if Senderos has come back an improved player from his spell with Milan, he could prove a useful squad player. Havard Nordtveit and Kyle Bartley could potentially push for a spot in the first team as well this season.
Right back - Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Eboue.
While Gavin Hoyte looks like he could have the potential to fill in at the back, we could be a bit short in this position. Eboue will be on duty at the African Nations Cup early next year, meaning we’d be a bit pushed if Sagna picked up a knock and I’d rather not see Kolo or Vermaelen forced to play out of position.
Left midfield - Tomas Rosicky, Armand Traore, Samir Nasri, Kieran Gibbs, Andrey Arshavin, Jack Wilshere
As with all areas of our midfield on paper this looks very strong. Arsenal’s midfield players are all capable of playing across the centre, which is why they feature in more than one position in this list.
Central midfield - Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Denilson, Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere.
There are a host of fringe players such as Francis Coquelin, Fran Merida, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Sanchez Watt who could also step into midfield for the Gunners for spells next season, but the argument for the pastyearis who we have that can play as a defensive midfielder. I’m of the opinion that all of our midfielders should take more responsibility with defensive duties and if we had a more solid back line, the need for an out and out defensive mid would diminish. However, an enforcer such as Lorik Cana would not go amiss and if Le Gaffer was going to sign just one more player this year, I’d be happy with someone of his no-nonsense abilities.
Right midfield - Emmanuel Eboue, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott.
I’m not entirely sure why I’ve put Diaby in here, as I can’t remember him playing in this position, but given that his one working foot is his right foot, it’s surely a better position for him than on the left flank. I remain unconvinced that Diaby will make the grade at Arsenal though and I sincerely hope he proves me wrong in the coming season.
The bottom line, my fellow Addicts, is that our squad certainly has the depth to get us through the next season. The question is whether it has the quality and consistency to challenge for honours.
If our star players such as Eduardo, Fabregas, RvP, Rosicky, Arshavin and Fabregas can stay fit, then I’m confident we can do well. And if Adebayor can rediscover his scoring boots and work a bit harder, then the season could be fantastic.
But this is Arsenal, so one or two players are bound to pick up long term injuries, probably when they are on international duty. The balance of giving youth a chance and having an experienced internationalist to step in when someone gets injured is a fine one, but I’m of the opinion that just one or two more signings will give us a winning squad.
My wish list would be a commanding, tall central defender and a versatile defensive midfielder who is capable of slotting in at the back if necessary. An international goalkeeper would be a bonus.
But what do you lot think? Are there positions where you think we must strengthen or are you happy with the players we have? Share your thoughts using our comments section below.