Where do Arsenal still need to strengthen?

Sports Mole considers three key areas where Arsenal need to make signings.

Stop the press. Arsenal have made a signing. It seems unlikely, but the Gunners ventured into the transfer market yesterday and brought back a familiar face: Mathieu Flamini has returned for his second spell at the club.

As the summer has worn on, fans of the club have been getting steadily more frustrated about the club's lack of activity in the transfer window, despite Ivan Gazidis's claims prior to the summer that there was a substantial amount of money available for new players.

With injuries also beginning to take their toll on an already thin squad, Sports Mole looks at some key areas in which Arsenal need more depth.

Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on as a fan behind makes his feelings known during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2013© Getty Images

At centre-back:

Last weekend against Fulham, right-back Bacary Sagna was drafted into the middle of the defence to cover for the suspended Lauren Koscielny. With Thomas Vermaelen also on the sidelines, the Gunners have just Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as recognised centre-backs.

Despite this, Johan Djourou was allowed to leave on loan for the second season running, along with Ignasi Miquel, who dropped down a level to play for Leicester City for the season. Not only, then, are Arsenal short on bodies for the first-team, but two backups who would have been able to fill in on occasion now cannot be called upon.

Good centre-backs are hard to come by - Wenger had to dip into Ligue 2 of France to get Koscielny - but it is an area that Arsenal desperately need at least one more body. There has been talk of a potential offer for Ashley Williams of Swansea, but the two clubs seemingly differ on his value. Aside from him, even loan deals for centre-backs are tricky at this stage of the game. We've heard Philippe Senderos has just become available. Remember him, Arsene?

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny celebrates scoring the opening goal against Newcastle on May 19, 2013© Getty Images

The wings:

The necessity to bring in a player who can work either - or both - flanks has largely come about due to injuries to the current squad members. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out for a large part of the season, with Lukas Podolski recently joining him on the sidelines for up to 10 weeks.

Even with those two available, the sale of Gervinho has opened up a spot in the squad that now desperately needs to be filled. Three first-team wingers would be tricky enough for Wenger to have a plan B tactically, but just one means that players will now need to be played out of position. With the teams around them - particularly Tottenham Hotspur - strengthening, now is not the time to be weaker than last season.

There has been reported interest from the Gunners for Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria, who would become available should Gareth Bale's protracted transfer to the Madrid giants go through. Mainly operating from the right, Di Maria could cover on the left when required and would add a new dimension to Arsenal's attack, which currently consists mainly of speed.

Up front:

Even in a formation consisting of a lone striker, one senior forward is just not enough to get through a season. Injuries and suspensions are always likely and should that happen to Olivier Giroud at the moment, the Gunners will be left with the unproven summer signing Yaya Sanogo to fill the void. He has bags of potential, yes, but simply cannot be relied upon to lead the line for a Premier League team that expects a top-four finish.

Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud reacts afetr missing a shot at goal against Vietnam during the international friendly match between Vietnam and Arsenal FC at My Dinh National Stadium on July 17, 2013© Getty Images

Giroud has proved his doubters wrong so far this season, having scored in each of Arsenal's opening Premier League games. However, he is in desperate need of support. Should his form drop - which happens - he could suffer further with Arsenal having no other choice but to play him. Should he suffer an injury that means he cannot play then Arsenal currently would be in big trouble.

The club's pursuit of a striker this summer has been widely reported. They have missed out on Gonzalo Higuain and Stevan Jovetic already and the transfer deadline is looming. Perhaps a renewed interest in Wayne Rooney is on the horizon, because Arsenal are running out of time and options.

Arsenal's players celebrate their goal against Fenerbahce during their UEFA Champions League Play Off first leg match at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on August 21, 2013
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