After the signing of the Schalke full-back Sead Kolasinac, I think it would be safe to assume that Arsene Wenger will not be signing any more defenders this summer. With Hector Bellerin all but confirming he will be staying on through his twitter account, perhaps the only defender that will be leaving this summer would be Kieran Gibbs.
So that leaves the team with a solid eight-man defence going into the new campaign. In central defence, the natural choices would be Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding and Gabriel, with the options on the left being Monreal and Kolasinac and the options on the right being Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain, if he counts as a defender under the new system.
We may also have Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik come into the first-team picture after successful loan spells and Mertesacker playing a cameo role as well. Taking all this into consideration, how will Arsenal’s defence line up next season?
Well, you’d think that our first-choice back-three would be Koscielny, Mustafi and Holding, but I expect Monreal to continue as the left-sided central defender for the Gunners. The Spaniard has been immense ever since Wenger made the shift to the three-at-the-back system and his performances surely entitle him to retain his place in the Arsenal backline.
While Holding has been nothing short of immense himself, I think Wenger will slowly ease him into the team. After conceding that he pushed the likes of Wilshere and the Ox into too many games early on, I believe the Frenchman will be a little more careful with young Holding. Out on the flanks, I would expect Kolasinac and Bellerin to be the mainstays, with the Ox playing many different roles that his versatility allows him to.
But with that being said, when you play around 60-70 games like Arsenal are expected to next season, it more or less comes down to a matter of rotation. Our defence will surely be stretched and I fully expect Wenger to constantly shake things up due to the sheer number of fixtures.
But overall, I would expect the Arsenal defence to be more solid next season, more in terms of system than personnel. I’m a firm believer in the saying that a solid defence is the foundation of a title-winning team and I think the current group of players in the current back-three system is as close to ‘solid’ as we’ve come in recent years.