My Thoughts On How Our Squad Should Be Set-up For Next Season by Usmanov
With an all important FA Cup final in front of us and what is turning out to be a pretty comfortable run to secure a place in the top four, I am tempted to say that there isn’t much left from this season. We are approaching that time when we would need to start thinking about next season.
Now, if we have intentions of planning to compete seriously for the league title next season, then we need to start asking the important questions right now, this season. Questions like: Which player(s) should be in our plan for next season? Is there a need to add to this current squad? If yes, how many players are needed? In this article, I will try to answer those questions by first analyzing the composition of our squad, starting with the attacking department.
Let me go straight right into it. Beginning next season, I assume that Arsenal should have available to them, at least twelve (12) strikers/wingers who more or less are/could be in and around the first team squad. Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Oxlade- Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Wellington Silva, Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo, Serge Gnabry, Ryo Miyaichi and Chuba Akpom –these players form the list of 12.
Of the 12 mentioned above, which and how many of them exactly shouldn’t be in our plans for next season?
Well, based on the evidence of recent performances, if at all there is one player you can say is of decent quality, BUT isn’t really needed by Arsenal at the moment, it has to be Joel Campbell. That is why I think he simply shouldn’t be in our plans for next season. Same applies to Podolski, Wellington Silva and Miyaichi (except if the brand/marketing department at AFC thinks we still need Miyaichi).
I consider the case of Yaya Sanogo to be a tricky one. Alongside Akpom and Gnabry, they form a part of our squad that is relatively very young and fresh with little time and exposure at the top-level of football. This trio will certainly benefit from more experience that comes with playing time. However, except if we have injuries ravaging our squad next season, these players – Sanogo, Akpom and Gnabry – really shouldn’t be getting much playing time in the first team – not even from cup games. Invariably, they will need to play in the Under-21s or out on loan. You cannot over-emphasize the fact that they need to play so that they can develop into becoming the players we all (Wenger included) want them to be.
That leaves the squad remaining with five (5) strikers/wingers – Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott, Chamberlain and Welbeck.
Next question is: Is there a need to add to this group? I’ll answer yes! One (1) top-quality attacker (preferably) with the capacity to comfortably play anywhere across the front-line should be enough addition. Theo Walcott may leave or stay next season –regardless of that, we still need to add this top-quality attacker to our group of attackers that has already started to benefit from a newly-found enormous competition for places. This additional attacker would provide the club a certain lift and freshness. More importantly, it will mean that at any point in time we should have an attacking force -exclusively made up of proven quality- playing for us in the league and even in the cup games.
Lacazette, Reus, Dybala – As long as he is top-quality, I am not really concerned about who exactly this new player should be, as I trust that Wenger will only recruit a player that fits into the team’s new-found style of play.