Arsene Wenger has identified the forward line as one of the key areas that need strengthening ahead of the 2016/17 season after the current campaign came to a close on Sunday (15 May). Arsenal recorded their highest league finish in 11 years to pip arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the second place after Leicester City had been crowned champions with three games to spare.
The French manager was disappointed with his team's failure to win the title after starting the year as the league leaders, but is confident that his team are moving in the right direction after achieving one position better than the previous campaign. Wenger's future at the club has come into question during the course of the season, with a section of supporters staging a protest demanding a change in hierarchy, while also blaming the manager for not strengthening adequately in the summer – Arsenal were the only club in the top five European leagues not to buy an outfield player last summer.
The 65-year-old manager, who is set to remain at the club at least until the expiry of his contract in the summer of 2017 has indicated that he will strengthen, and believes the lack of goals this campaign is one area that needs addressing, as he believes that is one of the main reasons for the club faltering in their title challenge.
Olivier Giroud along with Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez struggled in the second-half of the campaign, as Arsenal failed to find the back of the net on a consistent basis. The French forward had managed just one goal in 18 appearances in all competitions until he scored a hat-trick on the final day in a 4-0 win over relegated Aston Villa. The Gunners have been linked to a number of forwards in recent months, and Wenger has indicated that he has the complete backing of the owner and the board in terms of funds available to strengthen the squad.
"Stan Kroenke is completely behind myself and the board investing as much money as we want. It has to be in respect of a balanced budget, we have resources but the problem is finding players. Everybody has money in England and they're all after good players. The good players aren't legion, you have to be shrewd and be a little bit lucky," Wenger said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I think it is not a disastrous season, but it sets the target for what we want to achieve and we have to add something to get first place. There were a few home points which we should not have dropped and as well I think we are short of a few goals in the number we scored," he added, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.