We are only a few months into the new season but already the signs are aligning into what looks to be a massive summer ahead for Arsenal.
Recent reports suggest that Arsenal have agreed a deal to bring in Marc Overmars next summer as a Director of Football. He is likely to take up many of the responsibilities of previous negotiator and board member Dick Law. Overmars is currently at Ajax where he has done an excellent job. However, Arsenal is a whole new challenge. Overmars will be expected to protect the club’s interest as well as be a far more efficient negotiator than his predecessor. One question that will spring to fans minds is can Overmars be the catalyst for change promised at Arsenal? Possibly, depending on the amount of power he is given he could change the entire running at Arsenal. Arsenal of late have struggled to seal key deals, Suarez coming to the forefront of my mind. Overmars could prove to be more ruthless in his negotiations compared to Dick Law who struggled all summer to bring in Thomas Lemar, and failed. Overmars could also bring in a succession plan for Arsene Wenger. Not only to source the correct replacement but also to help steady the ship at Arsenal when Arsene Wengers long reign comes to an end. During this shaky time at the club it will fall to Overmars to steady the ship and he may prove pivotal as he will hold the key interests of the club and be able to help the new manager settle in easier. Overall, should the Overmars rumours prove true it would be an excellent move by the club.
Arsenal’s small spending last summer in comparison to other clubs along with their NET spend is further more evidence that a huge transfer window is likely to take place next summer. With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil looking likely to leave on frees Arsenal will be making huge losses in sourcing replacements and not gaining anything in return for their departures. Therefore, I’d like to think that the low spending was part of a long term plan to be able to afford both replacements for Alexis and Özil, as well as excellent club management.
Further reports have been circulating that Arsenal are now scouting goalkeepers. Which should not come as a surprise with the ageing of current first choice keeper Petr Cech and the enquiry about Jack Butland last summer. Arsenal were also rumoured to be interested in Jordan Pickford in January as well. A goalkeeper has obviously been in Arsene Wengers mind for a while now and I’d expect to see someone come in to compete with Petr Cech and eventually take over in the first team. My personal favourite would be Jack Butland but it would be expensive in this current market as the demand for top players is higher and English players tend to demand higher transfer fees, we will have to wait and see.
Arsenal are also going to be without club captain Per Mertesacker as of next summer. A once forgotten figure made an outstanding come back in the FA cup final last season and has proved a useful squad player so far this season. Furthermore, the loss of Gabriel this summer has left Arsenal with a shortage of centre backs, especially considering Laurent Koscielny has a recurring achilles problem. Arsenal should be looking to bring in at least one centre back to strengthen the depth and quality of our defence.
Overall, next summer for Arsenal could be make or break. They have to go big. Big players will be leaving and for no price. Alexis, Özil and Mertesacker will all need replacing with no return fee to compensate or fund big moves to replace them. Petr Cech’s replacement may also be brought in and a top keeper will not be cheap in today’s market. Overmars (if brought in) will have a busy and tough start to his new role at Arsenal, however, better the job be in the hands of Overmars who has excelled at Ajax than in Dick Law’s who has been an important factor in the decline in Arsenal’s recent times. Next summer will be an interesting period in Arsenal history and we will either see the start of a new chapter of Arsenal glory or the beginning of a miserable age of mediocrity at the club. The club are financially stable enough to do something exciting and bring in top players, it’s now down to the club to deliver under the pressure of what lies ahead.
TheArseView (Twitter – @TheArseView)