So finally we have our full Arsenal squad numbers for this season confirmed, and obviously the exciting ones are our new Number 9 Lucas Perez and Number 20 Shkrodan Mustafi, but here we have all 29 players with official numbers that are expected to take some part in the coming season.
Surprisingly Wenger has decided to keep Mathieu Debuchy (2) as the backup to Hector Bellerin (24) despite his unhappy attitude last season, although we will also have Carl Jenkinson (25) back available to cover in about 6 weeks time. Gibbs (3) is another defender that was expected to leave but remains as backup to Monreal (18).
Despite Wenger talking up a lot of our Academy youngsters in the summer, only Jeff Reine-Adelaide (31) has actually been newly promoted to the side although Akpom (32) and surprisingly Sanogo (22),who were both out on loan last season, have been kept as striker backups, despite Arsenal having bought Lucas (9) and already having Giroud (12), Walcott (14), Welbeck (23, when fit) and Sanchez (7) all capable of covering that position as well.
Holding (16) is also numbered and will probably be needed until Mertesacker (4) and Gabriel (5) return from injury, although Mustafi (20) and Koscielny (6) are likely to be the first-choice centre-back pairing. Other than our three usual keepers, just about every other player is classed as a midfielder, and I will be very surprised if we have the problems in that area that plagued us last season after the arrival of Xhaka (29).
Here is the full list of squad numbers……
2. Mathieu Debuchy, 3. Kieran Gibbs, 4. Per Mertesacker, 5. Gabriel, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 7. Alexis Sanchez, 8. Aaron Ramsey, 9. Lucas Perez, 11. Mesut Ozil, 12. Olivier Giroud, 13. David Ospina, 14. Theo Walcott, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16. Rob Holding, 17. Alex Iwobi, 18. Nacho Monreal, 19. Santi Cazorla, 20. Shkodran Mustafi, 22. Yaya Sanogo, 23. Danny Welbeck, 24. Hector Bellerin, 25. Carl Jenkinson, 26. Emiliano Martinez, 29. Granit Xhaka, 31. Jeff Reine-Adelaide, 32. Chuba Akpom, 33. Petr Cech, 34. Francis Coquelin, 35. Mohamed Elneny
Surely that lot will be good enough to provide cover for when any of our first choice XI are injured, and maybe even give Wenger the ability to rotate without any obvious drop in quality.
Our best squad in years in my opinion. What do you think?