Thursday, 5 April 2012


There is a whole Arsenal world outside of the first team squad, a world where players are sent to ply their trade on loan. In the case of the Arsenal some return and show their ability; Wilshire for example, but most disappear into the void.

The current loanees will need to have decisions about their futures made in the summer: Arshavin,Vela,,Denilson,Bendtner,Myachi,Frimpong,Afobe,Mannone,
Campbell,Bothelo,Wellington and Galindo.

Quite a motley crew. To be fair there are some that are making names for themselves and look set to be part of the future at Arsenal. Some will never return; they just don't have what it takes. Some you wonder how we are ever going to get rid of them and some; Arshavin, Bendtner and Vela who one wonders if their returns are tenable. As to Almunia's wherabout, who knows?

The goalkeepers on loan have no obvious merits and there is of course, the case of Frimpong who seems to be preoccupied with creating his own half-baked cult.

The reality is that current squad members Squilacci, Park, Chamakh and Fabianski look like they need replacing and looking at the loanees one has to wonder would those replacements be any better?

The logical conclusion therefore is that new players need to be bought. Conceivably twenty players could be leaving this summer and in most cases they are players who have had opportunities and never truly grapsed them.

Strength in depth needs to be the mantra and when one peruses the full list of players currently employed by Arsenal the realisation is that major changes need to be made. In my opinion those changes will take place over the summer, for the first time in ages. Reductions in the wage bill ofset by improved contracts for some would seem to be the path we will be taking come the end of the season; even if it means taking a hit on the likes of Denilson and Mannone, we need to freshen up the broader squad.

Manchester United's action in the transfer market early last season gave them a great advantage when it came to starting the season and we should be looking to emulate that blueprint.

Summer, yet again is crucial and the next set of fixtures may give us the positive impetus to start next season by hitting the ground running with a freshened up squad.

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