Arsenal midfielder and vice-captain Mikel Arteta believes the club can challenge for the Premier League title this season as long as they keep a high level of consistency and also sign a few players this summer.
Much to the annoyance of fans, Arsenal have had a very quiet summer despite promising big money to be spent and with just a couple of weeks left in the transfer market, the fans have every right to panic that Arsene Wenger has no plans of signing anyone at all.
Wenger missed out on Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic and Luiz Gustavo, who all chose to join other clubs this summer and has only been able to secure Yaya Sanogo on a free-transfer.
Despite not signing big-name stars, there could be some room for optimism after last season’s final couple of months for The Gunners, as they went the final 11 games unbeaten, winning nine of them.
However, with teams around them strengthening, it is vital that Wenger does sign some new players and his vice-captain agrees.
He told The Sun: “Last year, this squad wasn’t good enough to challenge for the league – we ended up too far behind Manchester United.
“We suffered a lot of injuries in the last few years and couldn’t always put out a consistent team for 10 or 15 games in a row.
“So we can’t ignore the speculation about new signings, because it’s in the papers and we are asked about it all the time.
“I’m convinced there will be signings this summer. We already have a very strong team – and if we get new faces they will be welcome.”
Arteta also revealed the club’s ambitions for the 2013/2014 season.
“You all know Arsene Wenger – and I can tell you he’s not happy just to finish in the top four.
“When you get to a stage in the season where you are 12 or 15 points behind the leaders, you have to be realistic and admit you can’t catch up.
“That’s when the target becomes qualifying for the Champions League again. But at the start of the season, the only aim of the club, the manager and the players, is to win the league. It’s normal that the fans get frustrated – when you play for Arsenal you demand to win trophies every season – and we haven’t done that for eight years.
“We started very slowly in the last two seasons – life is very difficult when you are already trying to catch up eight or nine points in October or November.”
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt