Arsenal mid-summer report: Who have they signed, what transfer targets remain?
A look at the club's pre-season plans and what the season ahead might bring for Arsene Wenger's side
With the World Cup over, it’s time to turn attentions back towards the Premier League, as the clock begins to count down to the August 16 opening.
For Arsenal fans, they had into the 2014-15 season full of momentum after a successful season, summer and signings sets them up to really push on in their attempts to return to the top of the English game.
Not only do they have a squad of FA Cup champions after ending their nine-year trophy drought in May, they will have three World Cup champions among their ranks in the form of German trio Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski – and they could have a fourth if transfer rumours are anything to go by.
They have already acquired Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona in a £35m deal that shows their intent ahead of the new season, while they have been linked with a £26m move for another German in Sami Khedira.
However, Arsenal’s biggest hope this season could be that influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey manages to remain injury-free through the campaign, after he missed nearly four months with a thigh injury. In his absence, Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League, and saw their Premier League title challenge crumble before them as they fell from the top of the Premier League to a fourth place finish.
Video: Arsenal secure Alexis Sanchez for £35m
Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona, £35m)
The blockbuster signing of the 25-year-old Chile international has been greeted with enormous optimism at the Emirates, as fans believe they have signed a player with the ability to change a game single-handedly. Sanchez also arrives in the hope that he will bring the best out of Özil, who despite a promising start to his Arsenal career is yet to produce his very best that we know he is capable of.
Possible new arrivals?
Arsenal have a busy schedule ahead of them, which gets underway on Saturday with the short trip to Boreham Wood in a low-key affair. Things then take a step-up as the squad will travel to the United States to take on Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls in a return fixture from the 2011 Emirates Cup. Speaking of the Emirates Cup, the Gunners will take on Benfica on Saturday 2 August before meeting Monaco the following day as part of the two-day tournament, with Valencia also set to compete in the annual event. Just a week later, they face Manchester City at Wembley in their first Community Shield encounter since 2005.
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