Mikel Arteta made an instant impact in his first half a season as Arsenal manager by winning the FA Cup at the start of the month.
The former Manchester City assistant knocked his old employers out at the semi-final stage before defeating Chelsea in the final at Wembley Stadium.
Things weren’t so positive in the Premier League though with the Gunners finishing down in 8th, some 10 points outside of the Champions League places and 43 points behind champions Liverpool.
Arteta has started to build his squad at the Emirates Stadium, making Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari permanent additions having initially brought them in on loan in January. Then they added the experienced Willian in a free transfer move from rivals Chelsea.
Arsenal will also have highly-rated centre-back William Saliba back from his loan deal at St Etienne ahead of the new season, having signed the youngster last summer.
It was reported last week that as many as 10 players have ever been transfer listed by the North London club, including Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.
How many players the club manages to clear out this summer remains to be seen, but here are three positions Arsenal need to upgrade to strengthen their top four challenge in 2020-21:
Pablo Mari got a couple of games in at the end of the season but it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard is ready to be a regular. The same can be said of William Saliba, who is still only 19 years old.
Mikel Arteta has shown faith in David Luiz but finishing the season with a back three suggests a new centre-back will be on the cards this summer, particularly if they clear out the players reportedly transfer listed.
Dani Ceballos played an influential role during his season-long loan from Real Madrid but is now back in Spain. However, some reports state the Gunners are trying to get him back for another loan for the new season.
Should they not, they will need an extra body here as Matteo Guendouzi has fallen out with the manager, and Arteta seemingly not having much faith in Lucas Torreira. Mesut Ozil doesn’t really suit the 3-4-3 formation that Arteta has been favouring. That leaves Arsenal needing a partner for Granit Xhaka.
If reports are true that Alexandre Lacazette has been transfer listed, then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be expected to play the striker’s role for the forthcoming season. Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli are the backup options.
New signing Willian certainly has experience on the left wing and will probably play a lot of time there, as well as rotating with Nicolas Pepe on the right. But there’s not too much depth out wide for all the games so another winger could well be on the cards this summer.
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