Arsenal will head into the 2016/17 campaign off the back of their best Premier League season in 11 years, but will that alter their perennial transfer needs?
There are Paleolithic cave paintings in parts of north London that anthropologists have suggested refer to the long-bemoaned absence of a world-class striker, defensive midfielder and centre-half in the Gunners’ squad.
Despite registering their highest finish since the 2004/05 campaign, those age-old concerns persist as Arsene Wenger gets ready to play the market this summer.
But, who should be their next arrival? Who should begin clearing his desk? And who should be kept hold of at all costs?
Sign – Mario Gomez
Penalty area profligacy cost Arsenal the title last year – they averaged more shots per game in the six and 18-yard-boxes than any other side comfortably.
The infuriating inconsistent Olivier Giroud must shoulder a fair portion of the blame – perhaps demotion to understudy will focus his attention on delivering every time he takes to the turf?
Described as a striker capable of winning matches off a diet of one chance a game by Louis van Gaal, Gomez is a Rolls Royce of a striker who has just fired Besiktas to a first Super Lig title in seven years with 26 goals in 33 games.
Still just 30, he has yet to commit his future to the Turkish club, where he spent 2015/16 on loan.
Sell – Theo Walcott
After years of regular and lengthy injuries and occasional unsatisfying indulgences in his favoured centre-forward role, Walcott is stale.
Now 27, a man who has reached double figures in league goals once in ten full campaigns as a Gunner isn’t trading on potential any more.
If the £25m valuation attributed to West Ham in recent days is to be believed, it would be certifiable insanity not to put him in the first taxi over to the Olympic Stadium.
Keep – Hector Bellerin
There are few rubberstamps like interest from Barcelona and, after just one-and-a-half seasons as a Premier League starter, the Spaniard is a man going places.
Only Mesut Ozil and Giroud provided more assists in the division for the north London side in 2015/16.