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Arsenals new signings are vital pieces, but the jigsaw isnt complete yet.

By Nathan Russell (@nathanhrussell)


The World Cup seems like a distant memory now and so do the images of
Arsenal manager Arsne Wenger playing beach soccer whilst his Premier League
rivals seemed busy at work. Its not even August yet and the Frenchman has
played catch-up by signing four players in 18 days. The first of those signings,
Alexis Snchez, had a fantastic World Cup, scoring twice and contributing two
Man of the Match performances. The 25-year-old scored 19 times and notched
up 11 assists in 34 La Liga appearances last season and his ability to play as a
striker will undoubtedly add to Arsenals attacking options next season.
The Gunners first order of business was actually to replace the outgoing Bacary
Sagna, who joined Manchester City after his contract expired at the end of June.
Wengers second signing of the summer took care of Sagnas departure. Arsenal
have replaced their mainstay right-back with the man who kept their former
defender out of Frances World Cup starting lineup for 12m. Signing one of the
most impressive goalkeepers at the World Cup, Colombias David Ospina, for
3.2m, followed this great piece of business. Hell give Wojciech Szczsny a run
for his money and will add much needed strength in depth in goal.
Then came a transfer that surprised many Arsenal fans. Calum Chambers became
the third youth product to move from Southampton to ply their trade in the red
and white of Arsenal. The 19-year-old, who is currently captain of the England
under-19 side, can play at the centre or right of defence and also further forward
in midfield. Hes another addition to a fantastic group of British young players
currently under the tutelage of Arsne Wenger at the Emirates Stadium. Two of
the four signings in Debuchy and Ospina have been replacements and the North
London club are arguably one signing away from having had a brilliant summer
in the transfer market.
Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Mario Balotelli throughout the
summer but they have more pressing concerns about a defensive midfielder. The
Gunners striking position could be filled by the likes of Olivier Giroud, Theo
Walcott, Alexis Snchez, Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo. It is widely documented
that the club is after a holding midfielder as they would currently have to rely on
an ageing Mikel Arteta or an injury prone Abou Diaby to play that particular role.
There have been reports that Real Madrids Sami Khedira has lowered his wage
demands and Sporting Lisbons 35m-rated William Carvalho is also on the
radar. Morgan Schneiderlin looks close to a move to the other side of North
London, although it remains unclear whether Wenger has other priorities or
whether the 24-year-old wants to work with his old manager in Mauricio
Pochettino.
Whether its one of the names mentioned, with Lars Bender also in the mix
despite having signed a new six-year deal in October, Arsenal definitely need a
holding midfielder to sure up a midfield that suffered in big away games last

season. If Thomas Vermaelen leaves in search of first team football then he will
also be replaced. The club has also identified the fact that its medical team have
also needed new personnel and appointing fitness guru Shad Forsythe may
prove to be the most important addition if they can avoid a repeat of last season
with regards to injuries. The Gunners have identified the players that needed to
be replaced and the problems, specifically in terms of fitness, that need to be
fixed. Arsne Wenger has done a fantastic job in piecing his squad together thus
far but its missing one vital piece in the signing of a defensive midfielder, a
position that will be crucial to Arsenals fortunes next season.