Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger dropping big transfer market hints?

Arsene Wenger In Emirates Press Conference 2

In latest transfer news and rumours, Wenger talks up importance of a: goal-scoring and b: goal-defending in big games, like losses to Chelsea & Liverpool.

"This [season] we missed goals," lamented Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to the club's official website recently. "We missed goals and that's what we want to improve [on]."

When it comes to creativity, there are few teams in world football who offer as many goal-scoring opportunities for their attackers than the midfielders on Arsenal's roster.

  TeamPosChancesAppsMins
Ozil Arsenal MF 76 26 2,149
Cazorla Arsenal MF 67 31 2,597
Rosicky Arsenal MF 34 27 1,574
Wilshere Arsenal MF 33 24 1,719
Ramsey Arsenal MF 32 23 1,764

Between Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, 242 shots on goal were created and, logic dictates that this figure could have been far higher had it not been for the respective injuries sustained by Wilshere and Ramsey, while Theo Walcott - too - could have offered far more than his end-of-season haul as he tallied 23 from a mere 13 outings (858 minutes).

The opportunities for shots on goal are there, yet they may be squandered by spear-heading strikers such as Olivier Giroud as, despite the Frenchman's 16 strikes from 36 Premier League appearances, the forward scores with a paltry 14.2% of his shooting efforts - a low that is inferior to that returned by Darren Bent (14.29%), Demba Ba (16.13%) and even former Gunners flop Marouane Chamakh (29.4%).

Arsenal may look to rectify this in the summer market and the club have been linked with top talent like Mario Balotelli.

"Losing Ramsey as well diminished our offensive potential," noted Wenger. "I'm sure we'll come back next season and score more goals," he added.

"I feel the positives were that we had a very good collective game, that we bounced back from very difficult situations mentally. The concentration and the effort put in by the team was first class.

"The negative was that, despite a good away record, in the big games away from home we missed a win or two and we conceded too many goals in these games."

Arsenal, of course, suffered multiple humiliating defeats - to Manchester City, to Chelsea and to Liverpool.

In each case it was perhaps a case of personnel on the field and managerial strategy, with rival boss Jose Mourinho showing the way to success in the "big" games by deploying two defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 set-up. 

Outside of Mathieu Flamini, Arsenal lack a second defensive-minded player in this position, as Mikel Arteta is more pass rather than tackle minded. The Gunners have been linked to footballers who fulfil this role, with Javi Martinez a notable example. Javier Mascherano, too, could be available.

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