The 2013/14 season is over and well behind us, and it’s that time of the year when every football fanatic is glued to their computer or TV screen to find out who their team is in for in preparation for the new season.
Some fans have already tasted success in the summer transfer market, with their clubs loosening their purse strings to bring in new players.
PSG have already paid a crazy amount of cash to lure David Luiz to the Parc De Princes from Chelsea, while Jose Mourinho has wasted no time in all but signing Atletico Madrid marksman, Diego Costa, who, according to BBC Sport, passed a medical earlier last week. And, if reports are to be believed, are about to complete the capture of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, three season after we sold him to the Catalan club after we turned down the opportunity to exercise our buy-back option that would see him make an emotional return home. Well that to many, including myself, is a gutting piece of news, and more dreadful now that he looks set to don the blue of West London and not the red and white of the North of the capital!! That will be hard to take, but that’s football, cruel at times.
Now to the most pressing issue concerning our very own Arsenal – who should Arsene Wenger buy this summer?
It is no secret that Arsenal needs a striker, one who will lead the line alone, or play alongside Olivier Giroud, and, according to Wenger, it will be the latter, and I entirely agree with the manager. Arsenal, ever since we stopped using two strikers, have not topped the scoring charts in England, meaning that a lone striker approach has not worked. It should be noted that even in the latest FA Cup triumph Giroud, who started upfront alone, struggled to make an impact until a second striker in Yaya Sanogo was introduced on the hour that we started to look likely to turn the game on its head.
A two-pronged attack therefore is what we should go for next season. One of those two should definitely be Giroud. He received immense criticism as he struggled to score on a regular basis. Yes, he was frustrating at times and some fans called for him to be sold, however, for me, the Frenchman is a very good player for Arsenal. With only him upfront, there was nothing much he could do in a forest of defenders, without runners like Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil arriving in the box to score. For me 22 goals and nine assists is not bad for man leading the line by himself.
Who should Wenger buy to partner him?
Mario Balotelli, Mario Balotelli, Mario Balotelli and Mario Balotelli. Period.
Looking at the current market that is devoid of excellent strikers, there’s no better option in my view. Even if there was, I would again go for the explosive Italian. On his day, Balotelli is absolutely unplayable – he just knows how to score goals. He would add power, pace, directness and goals aplenty. Do not forget, he’s one of the finest penalty takers in world football, having missed only one against Napoli last season. There have been question marks about his character, his discipline, but he will be working under Le Professeur, an expert at man-management. Balotelli has not had the chance to work with managers like Wenger. He instead has been coached by hot heads like Mourinho and Roberto Mancini whose egos could not handle a fiery character like Balotelli’s. I’m sure Wenger is the perfect man to handle him. Do that and, at around £25 million, you have yourself an absolute bargain and a hell of a player.
The second player for me must be a left winger, and that should be Angel Di Maria. Wenger should do all he can to land him. He would be one hell of a signing for Arsenal. He has it all; work ethic, searing pace, mesmerizing skills, assists and goals. I would imagine an attack with Walcott on the right and Di Maria on the left. Arsenal would tear teams to shreds on the counter. I also like the idea of Loic Remy joining, but that is if we cannot sign the Argentine or France’s Antoine Griezmann as the arrival of Remy will kill the possibility of an out-and-out left winger the team craves. Di Maria for me, as reports in Spain suggest that Real have slapped a £40m price tag, would be the perfect man for the job.