Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Gazidis wants Wenger to spend -Jovetic and Higuain would be fantastic signings

Morning Gooners.

It seems like the critics really don't understand the mentality of football fans. After one of the hardest seasons to watch Arsenal - lets be honest the football at times has been far from pretty and left most of us tense and anxious - it was a relief that we signed off the campaign with a win, securing Champions League football for the 16th successive season.

Gooners around the world also had to celebrate St Totteringham's Day. A day in our calendar which came later than in most seasons.

But while we all get over our hangovers, we know that next season must be different. We don't want to be challenging for fourth yet again. And while that might be the manager's minimum achievement set to him by the board, there is certainly an opportunity to improve on our standing next season.

And the players know it as well. Kieran Gibbs spoke of professional footballers having a short career in his interview with the Sunday Times and of time slipping away with chances to win trophies and medals. Now he wants to make an improvement next season.

Gibbs told the Evening Standard:
"We were a new-look side for another season, again, with new signings that have had to come in and step up. It is never easy to just come straight into the Premier League and perform like some of our good players have. 
"In the end, there was a combination of us needing to realise what we wanted from the season and the players starting to get to know each other more. As time went on, we started to gel. 
"That was important and it puts us in good stead for next season because I believe the team have gelled because of this. The dramatic finale makes us even stronger and we are going into next season head on."
With the squad likely to remain in tack, with only minor surgery taking place, the manager is in a position to make quality additions which will give us the opportunity to put in a sustained title fight for next season.

There is the chance to stick with what we've got but chief executive Ivan Gazidis has publicly up the heat on the manager to go out and improve the squad. We've got the money to spend Arsene, now lets use it.

Gazidis told Arsenal.com:
“It is important to reiterate that for everyone at the club, qualification for the Champions League is not our ultimate ambition.  
"Our majority owner Mr Kroenke has made it clear that while it's an achievement to make the Champions League our ultimate objective is to win the major trophies.  
"We all share that clear ambition and will be driving the club forward to achieve it. Arsène and I have already been planning what we need to do to strengthen so we are better placed next season. 
"One thing is certain. The club is in a very strong position to move forward and our form of losing just one of our last 16 Premier League matches shows that we have a solid foundation on which to build for success."
With money having gone unspent in previous transfer windows and cash being generated with new deals on shirt sponsorship with Emirates and kit manufacturing with Puma, the manager has at his disposal up to £70m for transfer fees and wages.

Our scouting operation has been busy throughout the season. We've identified a number of targets and now it's down to whether we can do the business in the transfer market. It would be silly for us to work so hard on the pitch to secure Champions League football and not to go out and strengthen with quality additions who can push us on to the next level.

One of those we have scouted heavily is the Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegro international finished the season with 13 league goals from 31 appearances, including a goal and assist in Sunday's final match of Serie A.

Fiorentina's sporting director Daniele Prade told Italian newspaper Tuttosport:
"This is his last game with us? Never say never. We will give a response only after a meeting between the player." 
The Italian club finished the season in fourth, outside the Champions League positions. There are other suitors for Jovetic, but we've made our position clear to him.

And it appears that the 23-year-old isn't our only option. There are now strong rumours that Real Madrid are prepared to let Gonzalo Higuain leave this summer. The Daily Telegraph has the running with this one.

The 25-year-old Argentinean has scored one more goal than Jovetic - 14 from 26 appearances. And if he really is available for £19m, I'm sure the manager is definitely considering him.

Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere has been speaking about his ankle surgery at the launch of the new England shirt.

The 21-year-old has also spoken of his desire of captaining both Arsenal and England.

"I’m having an operation this week to deal with the irritating scar tissue caused by the screws, but it’s a minor process and I’ll only be rested up for a fortnight."

Lets hope he's fighting fit and ready to go for next season. I'm sure he will be.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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