Arsenal managed to start their season as they finished the last with a win over Chelsea at Wembley. The Gunners triumphed over their top-six rivals thanks to a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Sead Kolasinac scored a late equaliser to force spot-kicks. It was an encouraging performance from the left-back as he showed the quality that he offers in attack. The Community Shield may not mean a lot, but this will give Arsene Wenger and his team momentum, which is crucial after a turgid 2016/17 campaign.
Although this is only a glorified friendly, there were a lot of positives for the Gunners to take into the new season, which starts on Friday for them. Alexandre Lacazette was lively and showed enough to get supporters believing that he is the real deal. Kolasinac performed well after being brought off the bench early.
If they are to challenge for the title, they will need a couple more signings, but positivity has returned to North London and they will start the Premier League in a good frame of mind.
An attacking midfielder has been on Arsene Wenger’s wish list since the signing of Lacazette was confirmed and he has yet to make a breakthrough. Thomas Lemar has been the priority target, but the Mirror report that the Gunners face competition for his services.
Liverpool and Manchester City are both keen on the 21-year-old, while Barcelona could enter the race with the windfall they have secured by selling Neymar. Arsenal are ready to up their bid, but that may not be enough as the other three teams all have the finances to blow them out of the water.
It is crucial that Arsenal sign another attacking player as they are short on options when they play the new 3-4-2-1 formation. Lemar would be a great signing, but it has become an increasingly difficult deal to do and this latest development doesn’t improve the club’s chances.
Barcelona need to replace Neymar and the Monaco player represents a good, relatively low-cost option for them. In addition to interest from other clubs, the Ligue 1 champions don’t want to sell and that complicates the deal further. It could now be time for Wenger to move on to other targets.
Another line from the Mirror is that Everton are interested in Danny Welbeck and could move for the striker if they fail to land Olivier Giroud. The pursuit of the latter has been widely reported, but he isn’t the only forward they are following from Arsenal. The England international is on their radar, but he could cost as much as £30 million in the modern market.
The figure mentioned in the report is high and that could be enough to put Everton off. His injury record isn’t the best and it would be a risk to buy him as their marquee replacement for Romelu Lukaku. A move for Giroud makes sense as he is a great striker and one that guarantees 15 or more goals if he is used regularly. Welbeck has never proven that in the Premier League, which is why Arsenal should consider letting him leave if the Toffees move for him.