Arsenal’s preparations for the new Premier League season continue at full pace, as Arsene Wenger looks to embrace the challenge of hunting down Chelsea and wrestling the title away from the club’s London rivals.
It’s been a relatively quiet summer so far for the Gunners, with a deal for Petr Cech already sewn up with the manager seemingly relying on the current group of players to maintain the momentum they created for themselves at the end of the last campaign.
There are still positions, which could arguably be improved with some fresh arrivals coming in, but Wenger is likely to already have a good idea over the sort of team he wants to take into the match against West Ham in just over two weeks.
It could look something like this.
Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott, Benzema
The immediate name which is missing from the side is Alexis Sanchez, who was given extra time off by his manager following his commitments with Chile in the Copa America.
That means an opportunity for someone like Jack Wilshere to start in the team for the West Ham game but it does give Wenger a problem down one wing, because a centrally based player will have to play out of position.
Wilshere was England’s standout performer in their last two international games and someone who will be putting some real pressure on the other central options in the squad.
The same can be said of Theo Walcott who arguably deserves a place in the Arsenal first team because of the way he ended last season.
Walcott was superb in the club’s final game last year against West Brom and was also close to unplayable in the FA Cup final win against Aston Villa.
There could be an addition up front in the form of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the Gunners are keen on signing the Frenchman as their first choice attacking target for the new season.
If a deal doesn’t come off then Wenger already has good options in the form of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck, with Sanchez also possessing an ability to play centrally in attack.