Alexandre Lacazette (att) Lyon; Sead Kolasinac (def) Schalke 04; Joel Campbell (att) Sporting Lisbon – end of loan;
Yaya Sanogo (sp) (att) Toulouse; Wojciech Szczesny (gk) Juventus;
Arsenal defied expectations and instead of looking for new horizons after their umpteenth mediocre season they extended Arsene Wenger's contract and the French maestro will lead the team in his twenty-first season in charge.
Last year was hardly any different for the Gunners from many previous campaigns so in order for this to change and for Arsenal to return to serious contention in the title race, Wenger must find a way to shake up his squad. So far it seems that this will be another summer of low transfer activity and in terms of personnel nothing much will be different at the start of the new season.
Tactically, Wenger is expected to use a new formation with three at the back which he started employing back in April with great success, and if nothing else he is at least trying to refresh things. Big money was paid for Alexandre Lacazette so he could lead the attack but the French striker will need time to adapt to life in England, which is not exactly ideal considering the fact that the fans will be edgy and ready to jump on Wenger the moment results drop a bit.
Many disagree with the Frenchman remaining in charge and he knows that serious pressure targeting him or the players might affect the entire campaign, so Arsenal will be looking for a strong start in the first few months. The only other new arrival is that of the talented left-back, Sead Kolasinac, who is a perfect fit for the new formation with aggressive wing-backs.
With nobody major departing the squad yet, the Gunners are showing once again that they trust their players. However, a lot will depend on the futures of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who have both been heavily linked with moves away before the transfer window shuts. Arsenal will certainly struggle to mount a title challenge especially if the Chilean star leaves as he has been their best player for the past couple of seasons.
Arsenal are hoping for a strong season but it is hard to predict which way things will sway for them. A top six finish looks certain, but realistically any placement from first to sixth won’t surprise as the Gunners have the talent but based on previous campaigns, not the consistency.