July 1st & the summer transfer window opens today, so Arsenal will have 2 months to settle their roster & acquire players we need & offload those that we hope can be offloaded.

We already know that deals for strikers, Olivier Giroud & Lukas Podolski. are done & thus become official tomorrow but there are likely a few more signings Arsenal need to do to be set for the opening of the season in August.  Arsenal likely need to purchase a ‘keeper & perhaps a centerback & maybe a central midfielder though the later two may be interesting to sort out as Arsenal could likely promote youngsters in those spots.

Let’s look at the possible ‘keeper signing first.  We have 3 goalkeepers that are likely to move out of the club over the summer (Manuel Almunia [released], Lukasz Fabianski & Vito Mannone) which leaves only Wojciech Szczesny & Damian Martinez as the only ‘keepers that would be in the 1st squad.  Martinez is only 19 & only has appeared for the reserves so far & even though Szczesny established hinself last season as the clubs #1, he’ll still only be 22 for next season which is a baby in ‘keeper years.  So, it definitely looks like Wenger should purchase a ‘keeper, preferably in the mid-20s or even early 30s age range to come in & be a #2 ‘keeper but with the skills to possibly fill in for Szczesny if his form dips or is injured.  So far we’ve been linked with Norwegian Kenneth Udjus of Sogndal & now Italian international Emiliano Viviano who is with Palermo.  If there is no signing in the ‘keeper spot that would leave only Szczesny, Martinez, perhaps James Shea (not sure what his status at Arsenal is & he spent half of last season on loan at Dagenham) & U-19 ‘keepers, Reice Charles-Cook & Josh Vickers, so it would seem a signing is definitely needed here.

Giroud & Podolski’s signing would seem to mean the definite departures of Marouane Chamakh & Ju-Young Park though we’d likely need to take cut-rate deals to offload both the Moroccan & the Korean.  Also likely to depart the club in the forward department are Andrei Arshavin, Niklas Bendtner & Carlos Vela, who were all on loan last season (at Zenit, Sunderland & Real Sociedad, respectively) as well as younger forwards like Rhys Murphy (confirmed to have joined Telstar of the Netherlands) & Sanchez Watt (spent time on loan at Crawley Town).  With Giroud & Podolski coming in, we’re set up front next season.

In the midfield there’s been lots of talk about signing Rennes’ Yann M’Vila, who has been compared to both Patrick Vieira & Claude Makélélé, but to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if don’t sign him if Abou Diaby & Jack Wilshere can return from injury next season.  Provided both Diaby & Wilshere are fit, that would mean we would have a midfield of Mikela Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Frimpong, Aaron Ramsey (who has been linked with Fulham), Tomáš Rosičký & Jack Wilshere before we even get to youngsters like Chuks Aneke (spent time on loan at Stevenage & Preston), Craig Eastmond (on loan at Wycombe Wanderers), Conor Henderson (injured all of last year) & Henri Lansbury (on loan at West Ham).  Some of these younger players may be sold or loaned out again & this also includes Denílson (on loan to São Paulo) & Samuel Galindo (on loan at Gimnástic de Tarragona). So, point being even without signing M’Vila or anyone else in midfield, we might actually have the numbers in midfield albeit at the expense of experience in a lot of cases.

We’re probably set at the fullbacks but in the center of defense Johann Djourou might leave along with the nearly confirmed departure of Sébastian Squillaci which may precipitate a purchase (Jan Vertonghen?) or perhaps the promotion of Kyle Bartley although Bartley has been linked with an exit or another loan deal too.

And the fun/madness starts tomorrow!

On an unrelated funny note, apparently some Gunner fans had fun with a Sp*rs Alltime XI poll.

Confirmed signings: Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures: Manuel Almunia (released), Geroge Brislen-Hall (released), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla),Gavin Hoyte (released), Sean McDermott (released), Jernade Meade (released), Rhys Murphy (Telsar Velsen), Sanchez Watt (released)
Likely signings: ?
Likely departures:
 Andrei Arshavin (Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Denílson, Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park, Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia), Carlos Vela
Possible signings: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Jan Vertonghen (Ajax Amsterdam), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo)
Possible departures: Johann Djourou (Napoli), Henri Lansbury, Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Robert van Persie (Juventus)


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