Arsene Wenger can take comfort that Arsenal recovered from a rough start to the season, and appear poised to advance to the 2012-2013 Champions League season with matches against Stoke City, Norwich City, and West Bromwich remaining on the schedule.
The Gunners boss was subjected to a great deal of criticism early in the season, particularly after rivals Manchester United trashed an under-manned Arsenal squad at Old Trafford on Aug. 28, 8-2.
But Arsenal are still without silverware since 2005, and the club has finally shown signs of bolstering the roster with some high-profile additions. The most recent news is that the club has found a quality reserve forward for Robin van Persie.
According to reports in Germany, Koln striker Lukas Podolski will be joining Arsenal in the summer for just under £10 million. It was previously reported that the 26-year-old would be moved for £10.9 million. Podolski had previously been valued at about £20 million, so his move to Emirates might be one of the biggest bargains of 2012.
While Podolski is expected to be a valuable addition, Arsenal are always on the search for young talent to groom. The Gunners are reportedly interested in Fiorentina's Adem Ljajic, according to Metro. The 20-year-old Serbian attacking midfielder was on trial at Manchester United in Oct. 2009, and came close to joining the Red Devils in 2010.
Instead, Ljajic moved from Partizan Belgrade to Fiorentina for €8 million. He is known for sharp technical abilities, and is particularly strong on the right side. Ljajic has six appearances for Serbia.
Daily Mirror reported that Arsenal are in the hunt for Montepellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. In late March, the Web site Insidefutbol.com also reported that the Gunners were interested in Yanga-Mbiwa.
The 22-year-old Frenchman can play both centre back and full back, which is ideal for Wenger considering the number of injuries that have accumulated at both positions, Newcastle are also reportedly interested in Yanga-Mbiwa.
Meanwhile, the van Persie speculation has not subsided. The Dutch forward has been linked to Juventus for £25 million by Daily Mirror. In recent months, van Persie has been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester City.