Squad Depth and the Transfer Market
by Aaqib Alyas
Arsenal’s 14/15 season was seen by many as a great chance to challenge for the Premier League title. With lack of spending and injuries to our key players, however, it was no surprise that yet again Arsenal had to leave the trophy behind to instead compete for a Champions League spot. Now that the season is over, the time for transfer speculation begins. Only a few weeks after the season has finished, Arsenal have been linked with many different players, from Arturo Vidal to James Milner. While transfer time can be frustrating, this summer feels different for the Arsenal, as once again we have title hopes on the brain.
During Arsene Wenger’s tenure, fans are likely to remember the best eleven to start a game. Departures of players coupled with long-standing injury issues, however, have often left this questionable during the past few seasons. Within the last few months, however, have Arsenal finally found their groove? This transfer window, it seems we can finally take a look at squad depth more than emergency starting eleven signings.
The depth of a squad is important if the team wants to seriously challenge the FA Cup, Champions League and the Premier League titles. There is now a serious competition for places in the Arsenal squad which could only be healthy for the team. If you told the average Arsenal fan that Francis Coquelin would be our best player in the second half of the season, they would’ve thought you were a Spurs fan. Players like Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky are struggling to get into the team when a few years ago they would have been guaranteed starters. Other players, like Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, have come in and done a fantastic job, keeping their starting places. The recent signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez need no introduction.
With our finances in good graces, Arsenal have the resources now to make one marquee signing each season, but with the talent we currently have, do we need to? We do not need to spend £150 million and transform the squad. Squad depth, like cover for Coquelin, a reliable goalkeeper and a different type of striker seems more important than running after another attacking mid. It is important that Arsene Wenger gets the right player in with the correct attitude so that the balance of the team remains stable. We all see how great the players get along, and Wenger must be precise with the type of player and his attitude. It has been some time since Wenger has had this quality of players in each position.
As we go into this transfer season on a high, it is my hope that with a few tweaks and additions to the squad, Arsenal can become contenders of the top trophies in the 15/16 season.
Written by Aaqib Alyas . Contact him at @Aaqib_Alyas.