Laurent Koscielny believes Arsenal need four new players this summer, with the priority being a top-class striker to help Olivier Giroud.
The Gunners finally ended their long wait for silverware last season when they came from behind to beat Hull City in the FA Cup final, and they ended the campaign just seven points behind champions Manchester City. However, having led the Premier League table for long periods, there was still a sense of disappointment in the camp.
Optimism was high when Arsene Wenger spent a club record £42.5million on playmaker Mesut Ozil, but the German tailed off towards the business end when the team was also hit by a number of key injuries. To avoid a lack of quality deputies next time around, Koscielny believes an extra body in midfield would be helpful moving forward.
Lukas Fabianski’s departure has also left a vacancy for a quality back-up goalkeeper to Wojciech Szczesny, and more significantly a new right fullback is needed after Bacary Sagna decided against renewing his contract. But most of all, few would argue against the opinion that a new striker is the most pressing priority for Wenger.
Having failed to sign Gonzalo Higuain last summer the Gunners were over-reliant on Giroud, who performed admirably with such expectation on his shoulders. Koscielny has now urged Wenger not to make the same mistake as 12 months ago, and to instead make the signing on a new frontman an absolute must during the summer window.
“We’ll need a goalkeeper, a right back, a midfielder and a striker,” Koscielny said. “It’s important to have a minimum of these four players so that we’ll be better able to challenge. We need to recruit a very, very good striker, because it’s important for us, for competition for places, because Olivier needs that to become even better. Having a striker who scores more than 30 goals a season can help us win the Premier League.”
Since the end of last season Arsenal have been linked with Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy, who impressed whilst on loan at Newcastle United last term and could be available for around £12million. A more expensive option could be former Manchester City ace Mario Balotelli, who has been widely tipped to leave Milan in the coming weeks.
One player who won’t be lining up for the Gunners next season, though, is Cesc Fabregas. The former club captain is set to leave Barcelona three years after quitting the Emirates Stadium, and the Londoners have an option to take him back. However, it has been widely reported that Wenger will not be making a bid for the Spanish midfielder.
Fabregas could yet return to the English capital, with Chelsea expected to meet the £30million asking price for his signature. Indeed, talkSPORT go as far as to suggest Jose Mourinho has already wrapped up a deal for the 27-year-old, who will presumably fill the void left by the departure of Stamford Bridge legend Frank Lampard.