Arsenal need a change this summer but with a bit of backing in the transfer window, Mikel Arteta could transform them in just two years.
Slavia Prague’s late equaliser in their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday night struck a blow for Gunners and led to more soul searching by fans and pundits.
One of those was talkSPORT host Jason Cundy, had his say on talkSPORT, with The Sports Bar co-host adamant changes had to be made at the Emirates.
But he believes there is enough young talent in manager Arteta’s squad to ensure a huge overhaul isn’t needed, just supplementary signings and the sale of some current stars.
“There is a lot wrong at Arsenal and there has been for quite a while,” said Cundy.
“Having [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang as skipper, for me, that has to change. [Arteta] is trying to change the culture of a football club that has become a bit of a joke and that’s going to take a while to do.
“Look, [Emile] Smith Rowe, [Bukayo] Saka, and one or two of the other young players, [Gabriel] Martinelli too. Clearly they have got the nucleus of a squad. You can see what Arsenal might look like in two years time. They’re going to be back.
“Really, over the years, Arsenal don’t really go out and transform a squad.
“They probably need a centre-half, they probably need a striker and they’re probably going to need some cover in the middle of the park.
“What’s that going to cost you in the transfer window?”
So what might Arsenal look like keeping faith with youngsters, making Martin Odegaard’s loan deal permanent, ditching Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and adding in vital areas? talkSPORT.com takes a look.
Centre-back – Pau Torres (Villarreal)
The Spain international is impressing under ex-Arsenal manager Unai Emery in LaLiga.
He might be the most expensive of their summer moves given the skills he has as a left-footed centre-back.
Not only does he fare well in traditional defensive metrics, and strike a formidable aerial opponent, winning 61.7 per cent of his airborne duels, he’s also composed on the ball too.
Interest is high in the defender with Manchester United just one side possibly rivalling the Gunners
But he’s in no rush to make a decision and in December he told Marca: “I am very calm with a contract at Villarreal.
”I am happy at Villarreal and happy in my town.
“I have to keep working because I know I have many things to improve, and where better than Villarreal?
“I still have a long time to do everything.”
Central midfield – Boubakary Soumare (Lille)
The French side are currently top of Ligue 1 with a huge number of prospects wanted by Premier League clubs.
Soumare was targeted by several sides both last summer and in January but remained in France where he has continued to progress.
He’s still only 22 and displays quality attributes already with a penchant for snatching the ball away from opponents thanks to his excellent anticipation.
Soumare is also a tremendous ball-carrier with superb close control and financial issues in Ligue 1 might make him a lot cheaper than you might imagine.
Striker – Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
This one has been bubbling along nicely for a while now and he’s the kind of striker who could thrive in front of a host of creative talents.
Edouard can be the fox the box that kick-starts a top four push in 2021/22 and he might not be too pricey either, coming down from Scottish club Celtic.
Statistically, he profiles closely to Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero and at 23 he certainly fits the right profile for the kind of side Arteta is building at the Emirates.
His 52 league goals in the last three seasons is certainly worth a punt for the Gunners.