It takes a very philosophical Gooner to not be frustrated by Arsenal’s lack of progress in the Torture Window, so far. Many fellow Gooners got themselves excited by the calibre of players we are being linked with this summer, and I am one of them.
It looks like Arsene wants to add established quality players, who can hit the ground running. We all welcome this but it seems to be a lot harder than expected. Is the club negotiating too hard, or are other aspect throwing a spanner in the works? I don’t know, and the lack of information by the club is frustrating, although to some extent understandable, as they have to protect our negotiation position as well as our transfer targets.
Of course the TW has only been open officially for a week, but it is clear that the club have been working hard to get their transfer targets during the last six weeks. It looks like Arsenal are unwilling to pay the full clause release sum in Fellaini’s contract, and as it is only effective till mid-August, it’s most likely that a deal, if at all, will happen towards the end of the TW. A risky strategy and I would not be surprised if we are to lose out on the Belgian midfield beast (which for me remains the most important position to recruit for this summer).
The lack of progress regarding Higuain might have less to do with money and more to do with pride. Letting the Argentine forward go without an announcement by Real Madrid of their purchase of a star new player, might be holding things back right now. Buying of the super-rich comes with its own dynamics, it seems.
The brain tells me to remain patient and trust the club is doing everything to make the deals happen. But I cannot deny feeling restless and a tad frustrated right now. Part of me wants us to tell RM where to stick Higuain and move on the more realistic and achievable targets.
You see, I feel to some extent that we should stick we the current strike-force, as they are all likely to progress further in the coming season. Theo (14), Pod (11), Santi (12), Giroud (11) scored 48 PL goals between them and except for Santi – who quite frankly has been sublime last season – I reckon all players can improve their goal tally by 33-75%.
Giroud’s second seasons at his previous clubs have seen a dramatic improvement of around 100%; I am not banking on a similar improvement by I reckon he will improve by 50% next season. The Pod has done well on the left wing this season, but I reckon he will be fitter and more adjusted to the PL next season, and a productivity improvement by a third is not inconceivable. And then there is Theo who is getting more prolific every year, and we should see further improvement next season, somewhere between 33-50%.
Therefore, I believe our current four main attackers could reach a total tally of around 62 goals next season, an improvement by 14 goals. If our remaining midfielders (from whom we need more ‘open goals’ next season), defenders and squad players in attack (Gerv, Ox), can at least match their total goal tally of 24 last season, Arsenal could score in the region of 86 goals, which would match the Mancs total of last season. That would surely be enough to become champions (if accompanied by a lean and mean defence next season).
I reckon we need more strength in depth, though, as those four attackers will have to cover three positions in all games we play. Ox should improve further and hopefully will start scoring more regularly, and there might still be a role for Gervinho; but we need a bit more quality/lethalness in the squad.
I am not going to say no to the likes of Higuain, Jovetic or Rooney joining us this summer, far from it; and I hope the club will give everything to bring one or two of them to the home of football. But I hope we’ll draw the line at some point and move on.
As per the above, I would also be happy to see the likes of Michu or Benteke join us. The most important thing is to keep our attackers together and give them a chance to improve further next season, but add some strength in depth that we can rely on.
Arsenal had the third highest goal tally in the PL last season, and that with three players who had their first season in the PL, and one player who was unsettled until January. More is to come, one way or another. So let’s stay patient and hope Gazidis and Wenger do what’s best for the club.
But as always, let us know where you stand on the Higuain situation and who you beleive Arsenal should buy to improve our attack further.
Written by: TotalArsenal.