5 Reasons To Believe That Next Year Really Is Arsenal's Year


Aside from rabid Arsenal fans, is there anyone out there who thinks the Gooners will win the Premier League title next season? I'm not asking whether they can, because of course they can. I'm asking whether they will.

Close your eyes, defy the trolls and try to envisage an Arsene Wenger squad that outlasts, out-scraps and out-plays a strutting Jose Mourinho select next season. I'm painting the picture of an Arsenal who stand up to be counted in the biggest games and achieves for their manager the sweetest redemption since Shawshank.

Can you see it? No, neither could I at first, but just because things are, doesn't mean they always will be. Wenger's Arsenal have been living a Groundhog Day of third and fourth-placed finishes for 10 seasons now. It seems every year they flirt with the Premier League bartender, but they always go home before the title race lock-in.

Could 2015-16 be the season that changes? If you want to believe it's possible, this is the column for you. And here are the reasons to believe.

 

1. Alexis Sanchez is just getting started

Aston Villa v Arsenal - FA Cup Final : News Photo 

As first seasons go, Alexis Sanchez had arguably one the best we've seen from a La Liga player transitioning to England. The pace and intensity of the Premier League played to his default setting, and Sanchez reveled in his marauding role too many times to mention.

With a platform to build on and a settled life in London, Alexis can reach new heights of influence of consistency next season. Early bets for player of the season could prove shrewdly placed and I expect to see an answer to Eden Hazard in the very tight Arsenal shorts of Alexis.

 

2. Petr Cech solves a long-standing Arsenal problem

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-SUNDERLAND : News Photo 

More often that not, the team that wins the Premier League has a world-class goalkeeper to call on. Chelsea were lucky enough to have two last season and with Thibaut Courtois in possession, Petr Cech is available for transfer and seemingly edging towards Arsenal.

It goes without saying Cech would be the smartest of summer swoops. His commanding presence, shot-stopping ability and distribution would add authority and purpose to Arsenal's backline. And then there's the experience and title-winning mentality he'd bring to the dressing room.

 

3. The money is there, the lure of Arsenal is growing stronger

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-SOUTHAMPTON : News Photo 

Unlike Liverpool, who don't have the draw of Champions League football next season, Arsenal must look a very appealing proposition for young players on the transfer market this summer. The world has seen Wenger sign Mesut Ozil and Alexis, London is a great place to live and everybody knows how impressive an arena the Emirates is.

What's more, Arsenal have the funds to go big. New commercial deals are rolling in the numbers and this could finally be the window Wenger gets the club credit card out. A dynamic midfielder with a taste for battle is surely a must-have, and there are several out there Wenger will surely have a go for. Names being mentioned include Geoffrey Kondogbia and Morgan Schneiderlin, both of whom would be hugely positive additions.

 

4. Arsenal's own are fit and have a point to prove

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League : News Photo 

Much has been made of Jack Wilshere's injury frustrations and perennial battle to play more than half a season for the team he so loves. There are no guarantees with Wilshere, but on the evidence he showed for England at the weekend, there's every reason to believe he'll start the new campaign fresh and fully fit.

Theo Walcott is another case in point. Injury took out the start of his 2014-15 season, but Walcott has a clean bill of health and no major summer tournament to threaten that condition. He's also a new contract away from being given fresh purpose to prove his worth to those who continue to doubt him.

 

 

5. One striker away from an attacking force

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-NAPOLI-LAZIO : News Photo

In Danny Welbeck and Oliver Giroud, Arsenal already have two forwards capable of scoring 15 goals a season. Giroud has the potential to be a 20+ striker, but Wenger can't possibly know which version of the world's most handsome striker will turn up next season. What exists is a solid foundation, but to be genuine title challenges, Wenger knows he needs to add a predator this summer.

That's why Mourinho signed Diego Costa, and Arsenal could make a similarly bold move by signing Gonzalo Higuain. With Napoli out of the Champions League and Rafa Benitez gone, the Argentine may be ripe for the picking. At 27 Higuain comes with the guile and experience to hit the ground running.

What's more, you'd have to imagine the chance to play in front of Ozil, Alexis, Santi Cazorla and Co. would be enough to get any striker excited.

 

And there you have it - five reasons why Arsenal really can win the title next season.