Cape Town - As the opening of the transfer window beckons, the managers of the Premier League are already focused on next season.
The transfer window is a period that could make or break the first-half of the season for any club in top flight football.
With the 'top four' seemingly turning into a 'top six' over the past few years, the managers of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will all look to improve their squads.
In a series of six articles, Sport24's Tashreeq Vardien takes an in-depth look as to which areas each club need to improve to make their 2017/18 season a success.
Chelsea: Where they need to improve
Tottenham: Where they need to improve
Man City: Where they need to improve
Liverpool: Where they need to improve
ARSENAL (manager - Arsene Wenger)
A two-year contract settled the uncertainty as to whether Arsene Wenger will be at the Emirates Stadium next season.
The #WengerOut brigade is calm and quiet - who they deemed fit enough for the job other than the Frenchman, remains unrealistic at this point.
Handing Wenger a contract extension makes complete sense with his record and experience.
The current market for a manager is too dense and options are not far and wide.
Eventually when they do replace Wenger, it will be their toughest transition period, never mind the stadium switch they underwent a few seasons ago.
But change is beckoning and the 67-year-old needs to start now!
Gunners fans grievances are not far-fetched and as a football fan myself, I too would be furious at the way Arsenal have been performing over the years.
With that being said, Wenger has wasted no time to add value to his squad ahead of next season.
Sead Kolasinac arrived at the club on a free transfer from German outfit Schalke, and with Per Mertesacker set to have a non-playing role at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, Wenger would need to strengthen his defence if they are to have any chance of silverware.
While there are quite a few dead weight players in the squad, who Wenger saves, will remain a mystery as always.
Arsenal are the record holders of the FA Cup, winning it 13 times after their 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
However, Wenger still needs to make further adjustments to his squad and to get his team to simply play the game in defence and attack.
The 3-4-3 formation was used quite often during the tail-end of the past campaign and looks to have brought a new and exciting dimension to Arsenal.
TIME FOR CHANGE
The first player to leave is Yaya Sanogo and has been released by the club after his four-year stay in London.
Meanwhile, Hector Bellrin has given Arsenal fans hope after posting a message on Twitter stating, "Don't believe everything you read" in response to the transfer rumours linking him with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.
The 22-year-old is an integral part of defence and attack for the Gunners and holding onto the Spaniard will be crucial.
Kieran Gibbs is linked with a move to Newcastle United, Stoke City and Watford while Nacho Monreal is set to remain at the club.
Having Laurent Koscielny fit each game will be key to Wenger's title charge - since his arrival at the club the defender has picked up an injury in each of his five seasons in London.
Shkodran Mustafa spent 62 days on the injury list - missing 11 matches for the club. The 25-year-old needs to get a string of games under his belt in order to form a solid partnership with Koscielny.
Shifting focus to Arsenal's midfield where Santi Carzorla was sorely missed - the 32-year-old looks set to return only in November/December after undergoing his eighth surgery in less than nine months.
Is it bye-bye Jack Wilshere or does Wenger still have a soft spot for the 25-year-old? His loan spell at Bournemouth was unsuccessful due to injury and his future at Arsenal looks dim.
With playing in Europa League next season instead of the Champions League, Arsenal could find it difficult to hold onto their precious star players.
A host of clubs across Europe are after Alexis Sanchez's signature including Premier League rivals Man City and Chelsea while Mesut Ozil is weighing up his options.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain exit is at 50/50 with Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp a huge admirer of the 23-year-old.
Losing all three players seem unlikely - Sanchez could be the only player that departs, which would see Arsenal lose a player, who netted 30 goals and claimed 15 assists in past campaign for them.
Gunners are desperate to get back to challenging for league honours, however, it will require Wenger to get a striker that can match or surpass Sanchez's efforts.
The transfer window closes Thursday, August 31 and bringing in a defensive midfielder could do wonders for Wenger's attack minded side.
Arsenal fans will once again hold their breath till the final day of the transfer window unless Wenger does business before hand, which is unlike him.
If Wenger fails to deliver, we might see the #WengerOut banners being brought out again...
Goodluck to Arsenal and the Gooners, they will need it!
Tashreeq Vardien is a paper basketball dustbin champion and works at Sport24... Follow Tashreeq on Twitter.
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