COMMENTARY | As Arsenal F.C. close in on yet another trophy-less season (now their eighth straight season without hardware), there would seem to be a reason to panic for fans. However, I am certain the (near) future is very bright for the Gunners. I have put together a list of five reasons why I believe Arsenal will win the Barclay's Premier League in the 2013/2014 season:
Their huge uniform deal with Puma.
It has been widely reported that the north London club has struck a massive five year, nearly $229 million deal with German sportswear company Puma. This deal dwarfs their previous kit (as uniforms in Britain are called) deal with Nike, and severs a twenty year bond with the American Fortune 500 company. The nearly $45.8 million they would receive from Puma every year would be crucial in investing money into player salaries, and purchasing players from other clubs.
Their $107 million transfer kitty.
Not only will Arsenal receive a boat-load of cash through their kit deal with Puma, but the Arsenal boss (Arsene Wenger) will supposedly be given a $106.8 million war chest to buy players this offseason. Now to Arsenal fans, this mythical amount of money to spend on players has been reported in the past, and not much has come from it. Fans will truly see if these rumors are in fact true within the next three and a half months, when the European transfer window closes on the final day of August.
Their young players are developing.
AFC currently have ten first team players either at the age of 25, or below (Gervinho turns 26 at the end of May). While a few of these youngsters haven't quite lived up to high expectations (e.g. Szczesny, Mannone, and Gervinho), the rest of the bunch; Wilshere, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Coquelin have certainly gained my endorsement for their play this past season. Of these seven outstanding young players, all but Coquelin (who was called up to France's under-21 national team) have had call-ups to their respective national senior teams within this season.
Their lack of expiring contracts of important players.
Along with developing young talent within the ranks, the team is not expected to lose any major contributors during the offseason. None of the players most likely considered to being sold to other clubs this summer (Squillaci, Arshavin, Santos, Bendtner, Djourou, Chamakh, Chu-Young, and Denilson) have made a significant impact on the team this season, as most of these players were loaned out. There has been speculation that current first team regulars Sagna and Gervinho could possibly be moved during the transfer window, however, I do not believe this would hurt too many Arsenal fans' feelings.
With Sir Alex Ferguson retiring at the end of the season, current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will now be the longest serving Premier League manager (nearly 17 years with the club). It's fairly well known that Manchester United's Sir Alex is the best manager in British soccer, and with him now retiring from the game, it is now Arsene's (nicknamed "The Professor") turn to take over the reigns as the top manager in the BPL. In his 17 years with the club, he has amassed 11 major trophies (3 Premier league titles, 4 FA Cups, and 4 Community Shields). With Arsenal's three main challenging teams for the championship (Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea) all changing managers, Arsenal has something these teams don't; stability.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
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