Arsenal fans did not enjoy a happy end to the 2018-19 season.

With just weeks to go, it seemed their team were in a strong position to finish in the Premier League top four, perhaps leapfrogging rivals Tottenham in the process, and had their eyes on a Europa league triumph.

Either or both of these outcomes would have brought Champions League football back to the Emirates.

But it wasn’t to be.

A Premier League collapse in which Arsenal earned just four points from a possible 15 in their last four games, and a 4-1 capitulation to Chelsea in the Europa League final, means another season outside the elite of Europe.

A situation like this is one fans would have hoped to see the back of in the post-Wenger era. But familiar weaknesses in defence, especially away from home, suggest there is still much work to be done to improve the squad and the mentality of the team.

So, it’s no surprise that fans are anxious to see activity in the summer transfer market.

The bad news is that so far there has been little to get excited about.

Indeed, one of the first notable news items regarding Arsenal transfer news was the speculation that due to budget restrictions only £40 to £50 million was available to spend in summer 2019.

In the current market, that does not buy you much.

The team needs strengthening in a number of areas – full-back, centre-back, central midfield and on the wing.

And yet so far the club have bought in just one player – Gabriel Martinelli, an 18-year-old forward from the lower leagues in Brazil. One for the future perhaps, but unlikely to have an immediate impact on the team’s fortunes.

Elsewhere there has been more promising bids for Celtic’s left-back, Kieran Tierney.

However, the Gunners’ £15 million recent offer still falls well short of the £25 million valuation made by the Scottish champions.

Arsenal have also made a £40 million bid for Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha, but the south London club feel that this is derisory and despite the player’s desire to move north of the capital, the Eagles are unlikely to talk until another £20 million is added to that figure.

In recent days there has been talk of closing a deal for Saint Etienne’s French centre-back, William Saliba, for £27.5 million. But part of that deal includes loaning the player back for one season before bringing him to the Premier League.

There may still be some time to go before the transfer window closes on 8th August, but Arsenal fans are getting anxious.

The club has promoted a number of under 23s players to the first team, including Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah. But the team desperately needs experienced players to come in and hit the ground running when the season starts.

There is clearly much work to be done in the coming weeks if supporters are going to be feeling more positive come kick off against Newcastle on Sunday 11th August and if the club are to close the gap on their top-four rivals next season.

And clearly the bookmakers agree. Arsenal are now, for the first time in a long while, the sixth favourites for a top-four finish, with Chelsea, under the cloud of a transfer ban, above them as fifth favourites.

In fact, as a Gooner, you’d be better off putting a bet on them to win the FA Cup, with odds of 10 to 1 at most bookies. Some Arsenal fans might even think their money is better spent at the latest online slots sites where the betting is less stressful!

Time will tell, but as it stands our money is on Arsenal to lose out on Champions League football once again in the 2019-20 season.


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