Positions that need filling at Arsenal:
Cazorla – I love this little fella but his quality in midfield has been sorely missed and given his age and the extent and type of injury he sustained you have to say that he’s on his way out. No other player on this club can do what Cazorla did. Cazorla could take possession and in a crowded forest of Premier League trees make the right dribble, provide the right pass, and make the right run that kept Arsenal’s midfield ticking over. Gooners will suggest Jack Wilshere and I can see the comparison, though Jack is extremely one-footed.
Cech – His stock is falling fast. If Wenger hoped to get two or three more years from Cech he’s been mistaken. Must be replaced this summer.
Alexis – there is no doubt Alexis is gone, the question is just “when” now. Will be difficult to replace because he does both: scores and provides. But there are players out there who offer his same qualities. Arsenal have been linked with Brazilian starlet Malcom who plays for Bordeaux. I’ve never seen him play but his stats are very similar to Alexis – he shoots, dribbles, and creates. 20 years old, 7 goals, 4 assists, 2.3 shots per game, 2.4 key passes per game, 2.8 dribbles per game, is fouled 3.2 times per game. Only problem is that he plays on the right and is left footed. That would require a shuffling of a number of Arsenal players (including Ozil).
Koscielny/Mertesacker – Koscielny is a fan favorite but he’s now another year older on a dodgy Achilles tendon. Mertesacker has been a steady voice in the dressing room and has been a large human in defense but he is retiring. Arsenal need a center back who can 1) win headers 2) intercepts well and 3) can pass the ball. These players are highly sought after. Liverpool just paid £75m for one!
Backup/Starting left back – Love me some Ainsley Maitland-Niles but the kid shouldn’t be playing left back. Come on Arsenal.
Backup/Starting right back – Love me some Bellerin but man, how do we not have a backup for this guy? Also, this position may need an older, more experienced player. Bellerin is often hung out to dry on that side of the pitch as Ozil is given his free role to wander all over the place. Maybe if Wenger gets Malcom and plays him on the right, we could finally see Bellerin return to his best form as both a defender and attacker.
Forward – Giroud gives Wenger options up front but Giroud is surely nearing the end of his career. It would be nice to actually replace a player before he retires for once. Get in a big fella who can hold up play and wins you some headers.
Man, there’s a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done at this club.