While still in contention for the Europa League, Arsenal’s shocking conclusion to the Premier League season has made it evident that changes are needed to the squad.
Despite an impressive period earlier in the season, one point in four matches against Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester City and Brighton has ended the club’s hopes for a return to the top four. The Gunners also conceded 10 goals in those four matches and are clearly off the mark.
Manager Unai Emery has not done too badly in his debut season at the Emirates, however the finish of the domestic season has been nothing short of shambolic.
While Aaron Ramsay, Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck have already been confirmed as departures so far, more changes are needed to improve the Arsenal squad.
It is no secret that money is an issue at the club, despite a large global fanbase, and as an Arsenal fan this is extremely frustrating. Owner Stan Kroenke does not put enough funds into the club and as a result, Arsenal have little hope competing with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
The transfer budget for next season is believed to be set at £45m, which is laughable given the size of the club and their presence around the world. Emery also declared in January that the club could only afford to sign players on loan for the rest of the season.
Those already departing the club will allow the wage bill to trim down, however more that have just not performed this season should be sold or released. This will also give Emery the chance to find players that he would want and would suit his tactics. Younger players should also be brought in, so that the club can prepare for the future.
The likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mohamed Elneny could depart, while defenders could be brought in to alleviate Arsenal’s defensive crisis. To date, Arsenal have conceded 50 goals for the season in the Premier League, which is significantly higher than the clubs above them on the table.
Regardless of who comes in, it is not a pleasant situation for Arsenal. The team are clearly a shadow of their former self and the fiancial situation at the club hampers the ability to improve. It will be interesting to see who Emery does bring in over the summer.