Arsenal have had a relatively disappointing season so far. They were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round against Nottingham Forest, a competition they had won in three out of the last four campaigns.
They followed that up by losing 3-0 to Manchester City in the League Cup final back in February. As for the Premier League, they currently are in sixth, 13 points behind fourth placed Tottenham, with eight games remaining.
With qualification for the UEFA Champions League through the Premier League looking highly unlikely, they could yet rescue their season by winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League that way. They are currently in the quarter finals of that competition.
But no matter what happens for the remainder of the season, Arsenal need to start planning for the summer, if they haven’t already, or face another campaign like this one. Among the things they must start considering is which positions to priorities strengthening in the transfer window.
Here’s a look at three positions the Gunners should consider most important:
Petr Cech has been a great goalkeeper throughout his years in the Premier League, but what has become increasingly obvious this season is that he is now past his prime.
He has conceded 41 goals in 30 league games this season. Although he can’t be held solely responsible for conceding all of them, he has made quite a few individual errors. The 35-year-old has made six mistakes so far this season which have led to goals, and there is still eight games remaining.
David Ospina is the second choice at Arsenal. Although he has had his good moments this season, he has not been convincing enough to be able to claim the no.1 jersey. Arsenal need a new stopper if they are to be at least challenging for the top four next season.
2. Central Defence
If Arsenal want to be at least challenging for the top four next season, they will need to sign at least one top quality centre back this summer.
Club captain Per Mertesacker is due to retire in the summer. Laurent Koscielny has been the heart of the Arsenal defense for many years, but he is now 32 and injuries seem to keep recurring for the star.
Shkodran Mustafi has been the Gunners other regular central defender, but he has looked unconvincing this season. Calum Chambers has had his good moments but he has not been consistent enough. Rob Holding hasn’t produced enough either to earn a starting role at Arsenal.
The other defender at the club is Konstantinos Mavropanos, who arrived in January, but he is untested in England’s top division as of yet. So, overall, the Gunners need to invest in their central defence.
1. Defensive Midfielder
A lot of people have been saying the same thing about the Gunners ever since Patrick Vieira left the club – Arsenal need to bring in a top quality holding midfielder.
When Granit Xhaka arrived at the club in 2016, they thought they may have finally solved that problem. However, the player’s inconsistently in the position since has many doubting if he is the answer. Xhaka has a number of qualities, but qualities which may be better suited in another role rather than holding midfield.
The Gunners need a physical presence in their midfield, a player that will help shield their defence and be a leader in the team. That is why they must address this finally in the summer or they could again struggle next season.