Arsenal's problem areas, key men, best signing and final position predicted

Ozil Arsenal 3

We preview Arsenal's chances in the upcoming Premier League campaign - can Arsenal win the league this season?

Arsenal fans are finally experiencing the fruits of Arsene Wenger's frugal labour.

Since the move to the Emirates Stadium the club have operated on a modest budget when dealing in the transfer market, yet that motif changed last summer when property revenues from Arsenal Holdings increased, when the debt decreased dramatically and Wenger completed the shock transfer of Real Madrid trequartista Mesut Ozil for £42.4 million.

This sports writer suggested at the time that the Frenchman may well have been ushering in a new Galactico-type era where the North Londoners welcome a truly elite-level player to the club every summer and, one year on from Ozil's arrival, came Alexis Sanchez - hot on the heels of a ground-breaking sponsorship deal with Puma.

Arsenal's finances remain hot, but the only difference is the club are announcing the type of business supporters have been craving since the FA Cup trophy win of 2005 - big name players.

Already this summer, Wenger has added Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and David Ospina to the senior roster. These transfer fees, Sanchez included, have cost in excess of £62 million - and the club, according to Wenger himself, may continue to spend in the current transfer window. Something they must do if the roster is to have balance good cover in all positions.

Having ended their barren trophy run with an FA Cup win in 2014, Arsenal were seven points adrift of Premier League superiority last season.

Considering Manchester City are yet to substantially fortify their squad, Liverpool have been weakened due to the eager sale of prime asset Luis Suarez, it is not unreasonable to presume that, with one more defensive-minded acquisition, the Gunners can close that gap - the club they must look out for, is Chelsea, who have spent wisely under Jose Mourinho this term.

Reasons to be positive

Squad depth: Imagine Theo Walcott, who was responsible for a goal or an assist every 85 minutes last season (a similar average to Diego Costa in La Liga), playing in a three-man forward line alongside World Cup winner Mesut Ozil and new recruit Alexis Sanchez… it has the potential to be devastating.

Considering all the chances they'd be creating - with Walcott's crossing ability and Ozil's creative through balls and one-touch play - it really should bring out the very best in Olivier Giroud.

Aaron Ramsey would be a strong candidate for the captain's armband. Last term, he represented everything that the club have looked for in the past when it comes to leadership. He was the archetypal box-to-box midfielder, he dispossessed opponents, controlled the central regions, linked defence to attack and scored and assisted for fun. The Welshman was also vital in the FA Cup final as he scored the winning goal.

Mathieu Debuchy has displaced Bacary Sagna in the France team and has now effectively done the same at Arsenal, with the primary centre back partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker likely to retain their places.

That is without even mentioning the quality in the goalkeeping department, the experience of Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta and players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo, Calum Chambers, Joel Campbell and Serge Gnabry who are all desperate to enjoy breakout seasons.

Best signing: For the past decade, Arsenal have oft been at the head of the injury league and last season was no different. The majority of their troubles were muscular problems, which can be indicative of an inadequate fitness training program.

Wenger has attempted to remedy that by recruiting Shad Forsythe (above), who has international pedigree having worked with the German national football team for the past decade.

Regardless of Sanchez, or any potential signing of Sami Khedira, it is Forsythe who could be the difference between success and failure this year.

Ones to watch: Honestly? Abou Diaby. When fit, the tall Frenchman is a handful to mark and has always had Yaya Toure-like potential but has been hampered by injuries.

If he is kept out of the physio room then he has the capability to make a surprising impact. His contract expires at the end of the season and so he should be sufficiently motivated to not only pay the club back for all of their support during his lengthy layoffs, but also to fight for his future.

Mesut Ozil should now be ready to kick on from a decent first season. He is the club's key chance creator and seemingly has a task on his hand to remind his detractors that he deserves to be seen as an elite-level player.

One of Joel Campbell or Sanogo should be expected to capitalise on any cup opportunities they receive.

Top scorer: Walcott is ready and raring to go. He could easily score 25 goals in all competitions.

Obvious problem areas: With Thomas Vermaelen's deal to Barcelona now agreed, there is extremely little recognised cover at centre back and Wenger is still without a specialist holding midfielder. If he wants to prove he has learned the humiliating lessons from the heavy defeats last season, then he must ensure the club do not go into gun fights taking only their fists. It is imperative a player like William Carvalho is bought.

Jack Wilshere is also a problem. Yes, he is a darling of North London. Yes, he is an academy graduate. But he needs to grow up. He needs to cut the smoking out and step up at least two gears. One only has to look at Walcott and Ramsey's accelerated development to see how little Wilshere has come on since he was a teenager.

If Wilshere endures another season where he fails to inspire, then it may be worth considering him for a transfer away - with Juventus allegedly interested. Why? Because Arsenal are actually improving. Arsenal could be Premier League title winners next year, if not this very season. And at this moment, Wilshere has not grown with the club. He has remained stagnant.

Will the manager stay? Obviously.

Prediction: 2nd/3rd - Arsenal will improve from last season, but legitimate champion status may escape them for another year. The title is extremely competitive and the Gunners have the necessary personnel to sustain a challenge, however, to actually claim the crown, they need additional reinforcements - particularly at the back.

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