No one doubts that our summer could well be a hectic one.
Despite Unai Emery overseeing improvement from the season before, we are all under no illusion that we need some work in regards to our squad and first eleven.
An injection of new blood and some chopping of dead wood is in order. This transfer window will be hotly contested though, and so much hinges on how we do in the Europa League final.
Should we win, our transfer budget will inflate, backed by Champions League qualification. Should we lose, the figure mentioned by respected journalists such as the BBC’s David Ornstein is around £40m.
That really is a paltry amount, and far from what we would need to add genuine quality to our ranks. So what if that really is what Unai Emery has to deal with?
Luckily, we have some promising youth players that could come through and shine for us – and paper over the cracks.
Youth does have its drawbacks though. A lack of consistency, mistakes in the heat of battle, they all combine to make blooding the kids into fully fledged first teamers a minefield. But with the potential our youth has and our transfer budget restricted, we may need them far more than we realised.
We need genuine width and it is something we’ve been crying out for, and in Reiss Nelson, we have a ready-made solution. His loan spell at Hoffenheim was hugely beneficial to us and Nelson, and his figures – especially the first half of the season, spell out a player who can prosper at the high end of the game.
What of creation? We relied heavily on Sead Kolasinac for assists but we need more than the Bosnian flying down the left. Mesut Ozil is still n flux and not quite at his best, and the jury is out Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Luckily for us, in Emile Smith-Rowe, we could have the creation we crave and perhaps even a replacement for the attacking impact of Aaron Ramsey.
Bukayo Saka has impressed all with his wide play and goals. He has risen rapidly and could be a huge asset out wide. Jo Willock has broken through into first team reckoning and his versatility could enable rotation in attack and midfield.
Then there is defence. Zach Medley made his debut this season in the Europa League and hasn’t looked out of place when he played. With Konstandinos Mavropanos being integrated into Emery’s plans and Calum Chambers coming back into the fold, we will be bolstered without spending a penny.
So, even on a shoestring budget, we have options, and they may well be game changers. The mystery of how good these kids really are will rise to the fore next season.