With the news yesterday that Arsene Wenger has agreed a new 2 year contract with current club Arsenal it means that the air of uncertainty that is hanging over The Emirates can now be lifted, not only that it allows the club to plan ahead for next season in what is set to be a busy transfer window for The Gunners.
Now that the managerial situation has been resolved it means that the club can draw up a list of targets for this Summer as the club look to make a swift return to the Champions League places after having to make do with only a 5th place finish this time around and with that a debut appearance in the Europa League.
Many will question as to whether the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will stay with the club as they have been long term contract rebels although regardless of whether these two stay or go it is fair to say that Arsenal are going to require some new additions to their squad if they are to once again challenge nearer the top of the table.
Many have accused Arsene Wenger of not spending money when it is available and it is believed that a large transfer warchest is ready to be utilised should the 67 year old deem it necessary in which to do so. A large portion of the fanbase may not have been happy with yesterday’s announcement but they could well be placated by a raft of Summer signings.
And that is exactly what is believed to be lined up by the former Monaco manager while coincidentally it could well be Monte Carlo which is first port of call as he looks to line up a bid for the 21 year old French midfielder Thomas Lemar.
Lemar who burst onto the scene early last season when he scored in the Champions League against Tottenham at Wembley has been instrumental in helping Monaco dethrone PSG in Ligue 1 but like so many other of his team mates is believed to be ready to leave the French league winners.
That will come as no great surprise as this talented Monaco squad is ready to be picked apart by Europe’s biggest clubs. Leonardo Jardim’s side got as far as the Semi Finals of the Champions League but unfortunately that and domestic success will not be enough to keep his star names at the club during the off season.
Bernardo Silva has already departed for Manchester City while Kylian Mbappe is at the top of just about everybody’s shopping list with the teenager ready to command a fee of around £100m, we could be set to see Paul Pogba’s transfer record be broken in the space of just 12 months.
And with that in mind Thomas Lemar will feel that he will not want to be left behind as his teammates look not only at pastures new but the whole heap of riches that will come with it. He will come at a cheaper price than Mbappe will but Wenger will still have to be prepared to splash the cash.
A fee believed to be in the region of £30m will be likely to land the 21 year old but one thing that Wenger will not want to be drawn into is a bidding war, so if he is to land Lemar then he will look to conduct his busy early on therefore not risking a higher transfer fee.
If the move for Lemar does not come to fruition then Wenger could well avert his attention to Riyad Mahrez who on the same day as the new contract announcement by Arsenal was announced, he stated his desire to leave the 2016 Premier League champions.
Arsenal have been linked with the Algerian in the past although an interesting footnote here could be whether or not Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez do leave North London. If either of them do then they have a carbon copy replacement in the making.
But should they both still be at the club at the start of next season then you do have to wonder where exactly Mahrez would fit into Arsenal’s starting eleven and whether or not he would be happy with a squad role albeit it a bigger club than his previous one.
Perhaps Wenger will keep his powder dry in this instance and just monitor the situation closely in regards to Mahrez.
One thing that is for sure though is that there is going to be an upheaval at the club in the next few weeks or months, the vocal fanbase that made their voices heard recently simply will not allow the same squad to compete next season.
Wenger has been accused of showing loyalty to players for too long in the past but you get the feeling that loyalty will have to come to an end this time around. The likes of Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin are names that could be on the chopping block but you could easily make a case for two or three names who are arguably past their best at The Emirates.
The longest running managerial saga in modern times has finally come to an end and Wenger has been afforded an opportunity to really lay down a marker in what are perceived to be his final two seasons at the club, the question now is whether or not he takes full advantage of it.