Analysis of what the Arsenal squad needs and how long it will take to fix

How Long Will it Take Arsenal to Be Back? by AI

This will be a straightforward piece. We will look at where Arsenal lack senior first-team quality and look at how long, based on recent recruitment, it will take for the hierarchy to replace them.

Let’s take a first look at first-team quality. Based on how Arteta wants to play, Arsenal need to be able to sustain pressure against low-blocks and break it down. To successfully do this, you need big threats from either wing as well as general athleticism, ball retention, aerial dominance in both boxes and good passing quality in the team. These qualities will also help the team go toe to toe against better opposition.

Alexandre Lacazette does not have a lot of athleticism. He can’t physically dominate the opposition defensive line and is not a great aerial threat. Stamina-wise, there is a lot left to be desired. However, his link up play is good as well as his movement and finishing. Given that he is 29, almost out of a contract and not going to get better, Arsenal must be looking forward to replacing him in the near future.

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP) /

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a very average one-on-one threat from the out wide wings. He does not offer enough creativity or penetration with the ball against standing defenders. His technique is not best for building play against any block. He is not much of an aerial threat, either. His best qualities are his finishing, off-the-ball movement and acceleration. Declining, old and on big wages, Arsenal must be looking forward to replacing him in the short-term.

Nicolas Pepe has been hit and miss in his second season here at Arsenal. On the right where he can cut in with his stronger foot, he has become really bad in general play. Arsenal may hold on to him because of his age, price and promise but unless he fully turns it around, he needs to be sold on at the right time to recover some of his transfer cost.

In midfield, Arsenal have little in the way of athleticism, mobility, ball-retention or incisive passing in advanced areas. Thomas Partey is the only one with these qualities. Granit Xhaka covers, recycles and distributes well but mobility prevents him from taking his game to the next level. Mohammed Elneny is disciplined, neat and hardworking but that is the bare minimum. Dani Ceballos is not athletic or disciplined enough. He is also not Arsenal owned.

In defense, while Hector Bellerin offers great quality with his inventiveness, movement and passing, his athleticism has since been taken away by a long-term injury. He can’t physically dominate his mark nor defend well enough. He would be good as a bench option.

tierney

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on January 02, 2021. (Photo by Rui Vieira – Pool/Getty Images)

Kieran Tierney is athletic, technically sound, defensively good and has great mental qualities. Given his relative youth, he needs no replacing but his availability might be cause for concern.
Gabriel Maghalaes is good in the air, can physically impose himself, and while suspect with his communication skills and risk-taking, is good enough at 22.

Rob Holding is a very physical defender who can be part of a good backline. While his general play has massively improved, he is still not the best option for how Arsenal want to play going forward. Can be a good bench option.

So, effectively, Arsenal must replace their entire forward line, at least two midfielders and two defenders to get back to title contenders. That’s 7 first team players. It is a task as huge as the Manchester United rebuild. Given that Arsenal do not have the cash reserves of United, they must take a lot of good decisions as well as patience to get where they want to go.

In recent years, the Arsenal hierarchy have, at the very least, successfully identified problematic areas in the squad. The recruitment is more of a mixed bag but where is it not? Even City and Liverpool, with all the clarity and money and coaching pedigree have had some recruitment duds. It is a thing that comes with the process. Coaching is also a big part of recruitment. How you want to play informs a lot.

In some three years, Arsenal have signed Leno, Runarrson, Sokratis, Luiz, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney, Cedric Soares, Lichtensteiner, Torreira, Ceballos, Partey, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Pepe and Willian. At least 8 out of these 15 signings have been meant to have an immediate first-team impact. Just half of those 8 starters have been very good so far. The rest have been middling to average while one, for his fee, has been particularly disappointing.

Out of the seven players Arsenal need, they have very promising youth in about four of them. Martinelli, Saka, Saliba and Smith-Rowe all look like they will be good contributors to the first team in the coming years. They are all incredibly young and must not be pushed to play thousands of minutes every season at a high pressure club. Arsenal are quite lucky that they can contribute significantly at the moment. However, it is best if they are used mostly as rotation options.

As such, Arsenal still need an attacking midfielder ahead of Smith-Rowe and wingers ahead of Martinelli and Saka. Given that Martinelli and Saka can play the same position on the left wing, Arsenal may choose to replace only the central and right forward positions. That leaves 6 positions, at least, where Arsenal must recruit first team players.

Based on evidence of the last 6 transfer windows, Arsenal sign an average of a solid 4 players a season, excluding loans. Half of those signings are expected to make an immediate, first team impact. We should reasonably expect a maximum of 3 seasons for Arsenal to recruit players for all the six first team positions that we determined, excluding surprises (Rob Holding developing into the best defender in the league apart). Should we expect surprises? Yes. Bukayo Saka and Martinelli have turned out into solid rotation options. Any member of the squad can take a step up from their current level but for the sake of clarity, we will not be factoring that in this analysis.

Based on the evidence of the last 6 transfer windows, at least 3 out of the recruited players will be very good. That is the baseline. What will 3 very good signings in any of the positions required do to Arsenal’s competitive level? I am pretty sure that it will make Arsenal Top 4 contenders. Unfortunately, most Arsenal fans will not be happy about being competitive for Top 4 in 3 seasons. It will have made it 8 seasons out of the Champions League and extremely weakened Arsenal’s standing in the league.

However, the good news is that anyone of Saliba, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Martinelli, Balogun, Nketiah, Nelson, Miguel Azeez, can develop into first team options if they are still at Arsenal. Saka, Smith-Rowe and Martinelli likely will erase the need for two or three further signings in the future. Arsenal’s recruitment could luck out on an immediate superstar like Liverpool did with Robertson or Salah. If we limit the recruitment to only the last two seasons, Arsenal have recruited Gabriel Maghalaes, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Martinelli and Thomas Partey. That’s two good starters per season. The likely result is that by the time the 2022/23 Premier League season rolls by, we will have our Arsenal back.

It takes a lot to undo the bad team development from the Wenger years. Wenger put too much faith in average players as well as the development of the youth players. The end result was that we lacked a lot of quality in too many positions. With the rise of Tottenham, Liverpool, United and now Leiceister City in addition to Chelsea and Manchester City, it became almost impossible to drag Arsenal up the league anymore. Let’s not forget that Arsene Wenger himself found it too difficult to qualify Arsenal for the Champions League in two consecutive seasons. We will need to be patient, bite our lips and trust in the current project.

We will be back.

Agboola Israel

40 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Arsenal will obviously look for Tierney’s competitor first in the summer, then they would probably try to sell Lacazette and Pepe if we don’t qualify for Europe next season

    Someone suggested we should keep Lacazette and get a different type of striker instead. I agree that having both Lacazette and Giroud-like target man is great for playing with two different styles, but Lacazette will be 30 years old in the summer

    Since Aubameyang and Nketiah don’t cut it in the center, they better play on the left wing. Maybe Arsenal could try Martinelli and Balogun in the middle, to see whether they can do a better job than Lacazette or not

    1. McLovin says:

      I would sign Tyrick Mitchell from Palace who will be free in the summer.

      Homegrown and just 21, he’s the 2nd most succesful tackler in the league after Wan-Bissaka..

      1. adajim says:

        Are you sure we have such power, he seems too good to come

      2. gotanidea says:

        Never saw Mitchell play, but I’ve heard good things about him. We definitely need a younger LB who’s good in dribbling and can compete with Tierney

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Arsenal have a young LB in Joel Lopez bought from Barcelona LA Massia in the U23’s.

    2. adajim says:

      Balogun will be gone by summer, we need a CF, i dont know much about the celtic striker we have been linked

      1. gotanidea says:

        Edouard might come if Lacazette leaves. According to some Celtic’s fans on YouTube, he’s been playing with a brake to avoid injuries for January transfer

  2. adajim says:

    this is a good article, my take

    hardly can any team have superstar in every position

    you are right about the youth, we cant rely on them all season

    No manager will keep Auba, Willian, and lacca on the bench, the pressure and distraction will consume such manager, except 2 of those 3 aforementioned get back their mojo and start performing as expected, MA is doomed

    AW had no choice because of lack of fund, and lack of ucl deny us enough fund to stand, and some overpaid wages.

    finally, i hope we could sell off the following:
    Guendozi, one of AMN/chambers, Mavro and lacca,

    we can buy another CAM and ESR deputise, buy one more CM or give Torreira the chance if he wants to stay, buy a new CF who has feet and good in the air, buy a cover lb, 3 this summer to start with,

    Auba, Martineli, Pepe, Saka,Willian should be enough for the wing to challenge for top 4
    i think we are good in the defence and goalkeeping area

  3. Fire says:

    AI…

    Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

    If the year 1905 was the annus mirabilis of Albert Einstein, please permit me to say today is your “Dies mirabilis” (*smiling*)! Simply a day of two brilliant articles! Thoughtful! Deeply analytical! And the sheer hard work put into careful and seamless writing is incredible! The kudos goes to you!

    Thanks for giving us such a great angle from which to appreciate the sheer amount of work needed to rework our Arsenal back to the great days!

    Patience and support is the key word! Thanks once again!

    I know it’s never easy, but please do keep more of such thoughtful articles coming!

    Cheers!!

    1. jon fox says:

      Fire, How I admire your sheer generosity of spirit. If the whole world were as you are, we should see an end to wars, hatred and bloodshed.
      Sadly , you are but a RARE shining example. But from small acorns do mighty oaks grow!

      1. Fire says:

        Oh Jon!

        Your kind words are truly encouraging and I must say a big thank you!! You are truly a unique figure on here, and such remarks from you are deeply appreciated.

        I believe strongly in the diversity of life, including amongst human beings. If only we all used our different strengths positively, what a beautiful world we would create!

        I must agree with your view below of what our strikers should be. Those qualities you mentioned below are inherent and cannot be taught. And so we must hope Arteta is able to find strikers with such qualities as well as gain the support of the board!

        Thanks Jon!

        Cheers!

        1. Pepe says:

          Funny
          Seems like a girlfriend and boyfriend love stuff
          Keep it going

          1. Fire says:

            Pepe…

            Not so. If you provided similar thoughtful statements, it will surely be appreciated too. The world needs such positive light and energy!

            More constructive and carefully thought-through messages will be helpful. Better energy from you next time!

            Cheers!

        2. lcw says:

          Fire: I read your comments often. You are forever the optimist, hopeful and forward looking.

          While I admire these attributes, I noticed that you never address the business side on football.

          Fans first reactions to improving the club is buying and selling.

          We tend to forget that Football clubs are first and foremost an investment to owners especially foreign owners like Kroenke.

          Perpetual financing a club is not sustainable. The already spend money on new players but also lost plenty on terminated players.

          We tend to think that not paying weekly wages to those players is a saving while we ignore the losses from not recuperating any money from a sale.

          The future for that reason is not as rosy as we think..

          1. jon fox says:

            Extremely accurate comments!

          2. Fire says:

            lcw…

            I agree totally with you when you say that perpetual financing is not sustainable!! As you mentioned, the immediate thinking of most fans is that the club should keep buying and selling, however, we fail to realize that such acts require a careful balancing of the books – from the business perspective as against the technical aspect of the club.

            Again, your point makes it easier to appreciate the huge amount of work before Arteta or any other coach (since a few want him out). I have seen that there is a lot of burden on the shoulders of Arteta, and despite being a very young coach, I am convinced that there is a future, even though results may seem stagnated at the moment. We can always discuss some other time why I feel so optimistic.

            Also, there are qualities that can be taught and developed in a player, however, some other qualities are inherent and can only be bought. In such cases, it is inevitable that a coach must buy such players to benefit from their inherent qualities. For that perspective, I understand why many are compelled to think that money (spending) will always buy success.

            Interestingly, lcw, if I may ask you or any other who cares to answer, can we think of, or name any great coach who became highly successful without great players? The greatest coaches all had some of the greatest players on show. Wenger became so successful in the wake of great players like Henry, Ian, Viera, the list goes on! Same with all other great coaches…

            Consequently, Arteta needs to be supported in order to shrewdly assemble similarly great players, who possess the qualities he so desires as well as players that align with his philosophy.

            I presently refrain from condemning Arteta for many of our losses seeing that most of these losses were incurred from erratic errors on the part of certain players. I saw Klopp lose due to two costly errors from his goal keeper. I feel the quality we have across the entire team at the moment is mid table, and at best with better structure and motivation from the coach, may edge into the top 8. And so I am not as unhappy with our results at the moment. Unlike many, I do not see any other coach doing better without the need to buy better quality, for which Arteta must be given the same time to do same.

            With as much as three acquisitions over the summer, I feel the squad will improve, which will rub off on some other players and the general ideology of the team will improve.

            That’s why, different from your conclusion, I feel the future will be rosy, if only we can be patient, understand what the real problems are, and appreciate the efforts being invested by the coach.

            Thank you lcw also for your kind comments, I do appreciate them. I hope to discuss with you always.

            Please stay safe!

            Cheers!

          3. Pepe says:

            How you think that our current team is a mid table team is beyond me
            We have full international players all over the team.
            What have you seen in arteta to even trust him with such a task.
            And please in the games we have played the only when we have managed to win convincingly was our first game against fulham and been unlucky with the loses apart from the wolves game please I want to see the matches where the performance was top notch that we were unlucky to loss.
            Arteta has not done more than the dead woods his clearing I am supporting him because he is our manager I can’t put blind faith on him because he has not shown anything that warrant fans trust.
            Please I want to know what actually he has done over 1 and half year he has Been at the club apart from putting 11 men behind the ball squeezing all the creativity out of this team. Pepe,Willian,auba,laca,martineli alla suddenly forgot how to put the ball inside the net…
            We were not even worst than Everton when anceloti took over.
            Look at boh teams now and see the different in performance, purchances and management

          4. Fire says:

            Pepe…

            Please pardon my lengthy response…

            I can understand how you feel and your points about the team in general. In a game where results matter most, it is understandable to critic Arteta and the team for the number of losses and general play.

            I often salute people who are able to identify and distill the most basic and underlying problems and then make effort to propose solutions or solve them. I feel Arteta identified first and foremost that our defence was our basic problem. Like George Graham (GG), he knew that if we don’t concede then we could have a platform to win games. Unfortunately, while he tried to steady our defence, this season, he hasn’t had the luck of a clinical and efficient attack, which GG had. In those days, GG’s team could have a single chance, and it was converted. Unfortunately, Arteta’s attackers have suffered a dip in form at a time when the defence was getting steadied.

            If you remember the spirit of our great teams, recall the class of 88/89, 90/91, 98, 03/04, then you will agree that being an international isn’t a yardstick for quality and greatness, but the sheer belief, hardwork, dedication, and talent. These are the qualities that are presently lacking, and which I clearly see Arteta trying to build and instill.

            In a period like this, results may dip, and it is probable that the coach may be sacked. But unlike many, my greatest respect goes to the board, who have decided to remain steadfast and have given the time necessary to make better judgement.

            I have seen the effect that a single player like ESR had on the team during the worst decline in our recent history. And I know what similar players with the right mindset can do.

            Pepe, I have seen that Arteta has been acquiring players with great potentials. We all criticised Cedric and Mari as weak buys, but they are beginning to show some difference. We may all be disappointed in Willian, but we cannot fault his purchase at the time. And he sure has the quality to turn it around, and I hope he does.

            In the end, I cannot fault you for choosing to judge only by the results. However, for those who feel there is some gold lying under the rubble, and if given time, it may blossom, please do not castigate us. Because in the end, if it goes well, we all will be happy, and if it doesn’t, then we will learn and yet progress.

            My words may not address your concerns, but cordial interactions as this may improve our understanding.

            In the end, there is more to life than football. I trust you are staying safe!

            Cheers!!

          5. lcw says:

            Fire: I will be glad to answer your questions:
            First many coaches won without great players?

            1-) Any coach who has a good system wins with average players. The most recent one was Leicester under Claudio Ranieri.

            2-) First money doesn’t always buy good payers unless the owner keeps spending like in the case MU, MC, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus , Chelsea, PSG and the likes. Now do you think Kroenke is one that emulates those owners? I am from the US where he owns few clubs . I assure you he only spends the minimum required of him per the leagues agreements and not more.

            Second let’s assume he has a change of heart and becomes less stingy. Why would he have faith in a rookie coach who has no experience, unable to develop new players, render average players worse, gives away players for free and takes the club near relegation zone?

            Listen I don’t dislike MA personally but I like Arsenal more.
            He was hired from the wrong organization that employs a model not suited for Arsenal. He will never have the time to learn on the job because that’s too expensive.
            So ,practically, the time to be sentimental and stand behind the coach is long gone unless of course one becomes numb to loosing.

          6. Pepe says:

            Arteta is becoming the new ozil by dividing opinions.
            If we wanted to build and was ready to accept any result and league position during the so called transitional phase why then was Emery sacked at least he has more experience and success at the top level.
            Sometimes the excuses we give makes it look like we are just trying to defend him out of personal likeness… This squad is far superior than the squad given to Emery yet we make excuses that Arteta needs 11 world class player to change our fortune.
            How many world class player does Liverpool have in their squad that won the league and champions league
            Do I need to remind you how much most of this players cost us and how successful they were before coming to us.
            We play like a team that is drowning…
            How can a manage instruct his team to put cross after cross for lacazette to attack.
            Doesn’t even know his players or system he want to play…. After rejecting the idea of using a no. 10 he is now useing it after seeing the different ESR made in the team and even got a back up no. 10
            There are so many dicisions in personal and match days that exposes him as not ready yet

          7. Fire says:

            lcw…

            *smiles*… You are spot on lcw! Oh yes, the Leicester team of Ranieri always comes to mind! I do agree with you that we can have outliers like the Leicester team, but don’t you think such are rare cases, which still justifies my point! I do not disput the contributions of a great coach, nevertheless, I maintain that such great coaches always depend on great players. I am sure we can all mention without thinking the number of great players Ranieri had in that team, and what happened to him when they left? It’s obvious! A great coach, who won the league previously, was sacked! It happens, but why, he lost many of his key great players, maybe in addition to other reasons not known to me.

            I maintain that to be great again, we need great players, not just with talent, which is essential, but with determination, drive, desire, hardwork, and dedication. These are missing in many of our present players. We have also had players with talent but lacked these other qualities, and sadly they didn’t end gloriously.

            The present results are sad to note, and I understand the present unhappiness, however, when I want to decide concerning the future, I prefer to examine the process at work. Knowing that every great coach needs great players, I have judged Arteta based on the players he is bringing in, and how much do I see those required qualities. And when I see such qualities, then I can believe the future will change for the better.

            Again, I maintain that this article by AI is a brilliant one because it distills many of these issues from a technical point of view.

            Finally, lcw, I am not sentimental as it concerns Arteta, instead when I see the enormity of the decline at Arsenal, I simply feel for any coach that takes up the job. If players are not offloaded, and patience is not upheld in place of instant gratification, then we may never really rebuild.

            Nevertheless, I truly appreciate such a beautiful interaction with you! I look forward to future discussions!

            Cheers!!

          8. Fire says:

            Pepe…

            I cannot fault your opinion about the team and the coach, particularly on the play and present results.

            In all spheres of life, all we try to do as thinking humans is to propose solutions to problems and then try to be convinced that such a solution will work. In this case, sacking and changing the coach is one solution, but the issue is, can we guarantee for certain that it will work? Another is to change the players, however, since a total overhaul of the players is infeasible, this must be done gradually. Presently, I see the case where the latter is being explored, and if it doesn’t work within a period of time, then the former will be applied.

            It isn’t about sentiments, instead it is about the certainty of the solution and if it will work for our Arsenal.

            In the end Pepe, Arteta will be judged by the board at some time, and if they consider it necessary to sack him, then they will do what is in the best interest of the club. As true and worthy fans, we must stand by the team in down and in up times, isn’t it?

            Always a pleasure having such a discussion with you!

            Cheers!

  4. Olushorlar says:

    Great piece Israel. If only we can wait as the board is not gonna come at once and provide a 200million. We have to be very creative with our recruitment and the manager has to be shrewd in his team selection. That said, our front line needs to be culled. I was seriously rooting for Auba’s renewal but I don’t understand what’s happening to him and Lacazette, he has really tried but I don’t think he is a solution. For Pepe, I’ll wait till season ends. In another way, Wenger teams had a lot of creative mildfielders and we don’t have much for now.
    I just hope these things get sorted out soon because Arsenal is on a free fall.

  5. Sean Williams says:

    Unfortunately with Arteta at the helm we will not vastly improve. He only knows how to try and copy Man City’s style, that’s all he knows, and our players are just not suited to it. Arteta is just too inexperienced to have the brand of football, and tactical understanding, for the development of Arsenal. Even if he stays it will be wasting time because within a few months he will be let go of. His personal problem is player management. Without both the strength and compassion that needs no manager can succeed at Arsenal. We have sunk to a very low brand of football, and treatment of players, that makes me so very sad. ‘A bad workman blames his tools’………Arteta is a bad workman.

    1. adajim says:

      why cant our players play city pattern if not laziness. whats the big deal in man marking when we are not with the ball.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍

  6. Grandad says:

    A very interesting article AI.While I agree with much of what you say, I do not subscribe to your view regarding the need for ariel domination in attack.When you consider the success achieved by Man City and Liverpool without a big target man, you may wish to revise your thoughts on this issue.As to the number of recruits required for a major upgrade, obviously this is dictated to a fairly large extent by finance which in turn depends on selling players who are invariably on very high wages.In real terms this is a huge challenge for our Management team and something fans should think on before they start hammering Arteta in particular.In an ideal World I would hope for a new first choice RB, a naturally left footed young back up for Tierney and two athletical midfielders to support Partey.As for forwards, I am inclined to sell Laca while he still has some petrol in his tank, but that apart how do we manage to convince Clubs to buy the likes of Willian and Pepe when they have failed to produce for Arsenal.We will be obliged to hold on to Pepe and the hapless Willian unless the latter is frozen out like Ozil.Patience as you say will be required before we can again climb the ladder and once more become a force in the land.

    1. adajim says:

      i dont think he is referring to ‘target’ man’ but a striker who is sound in the air and on foot. Liverpool and city strikers score much more with head compare to our strikers bad record. did you notice auba had a free header in the last match, but squandered it

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Grandad, Arsenal has always prospered on a basis of home grown players, while bringing in targeted recruits to address areas of need.
      The Academy has recently produced Saka and ESR with Balogun waiting in the wings, if he re signs. By way of example Arsenal also has a promising LB, in Joel Lopez and 3 promising RB’s surely good enough to deputise for Tierney, Soares and Bellerin. How will we know if they are not given the chance? Even if they show they are not up to “Arsenal first team standard” (not high at the moment) they will be in the shop window for future sale.
      There is nothing to be lost this season in giving youth a chance.

  7. S.J says:

    Great article!

    By 2023 we should be back to our full best.
    Kroenke will not bring out huge money in one window, so let us expect 2 good signings per window.

    Aubameyang will get his form back. Lacazette needs more skillful players around him.

    It will be a super move if we keep Balogun. Nketiah can be sold.

    We need one right winger to compete with Saka.

    RW, AM, CM, LB, GK.

    These are the 5 positions we desperately need players.

  8. S.J says:

    ST – Aubameyang, Balogun.

    LW – Martinelli, Pepe.

    RW – Saka, ?

    AM -Buendia, Smith-Rowe.

    CM – Bissouma, Guendouzi.

    DM – Partey, Chambers.

    LB – Tierney, ?

    RB – Bellerin, Cedric.

    LCB – Mari, Gabriel.

    RCB – Holding, Saliba.

    GK – Leno, Ryan.

  9. Sean says:

    Great article and read this afternoon. We do need to move on Laca & Willian this summer, get some funds for them and replace with an attacker to add to Saka, Martinelli, Auba, Pepe & either Nketiah or Bologun.

    Luiz will leave, Kolasnic permantly and then returns Dino, Saliba & a new LB. Chambers still about so may be sold. Holding, Gabriel, Mari, Dino & Saliba.

    Midfield Elneny should be moved on along with Torreira when he returns to buy someone like Bissouma to Partner Partey with Xhaka & Guendouzi backup. Cabellos will return to madrid.

    Then we have SmithRowe with Odegaard atm and if isnt signed permanently will need to go into our pockets and purchase an Attacking Midfielder.

    4 signings… LB, CM, AM & Attacker that can play across the line. Keeper situation may need sorted also but loans may be required again as we dont have the funds.

    Nice debate this is today! Everyone will have different views as to what we have to do.

    1. Sean says:

      Means come January 2022, if Auba or Xhaka wants to leave, then we can cash in as they still have value and can keep rebuilding.

      August 2022 is when I expect Arsenal to have a real go at Top4 and get serious again. Is Mikel the man to take us there is another debate?

  10. S.J says:

    Aubameyang.

    Martinelli. Buendia. Saka.

    Bissouma. Partey.

    Tierney. Mari. Holding. Bellerin.

    Leno.

    This would be a good dream first 11, with an excellent midfield.

    1. jon fox says:

      SJ I consider Bellerin more of a nightmare than a dream!

    2. ozziegunner says:

      S. J, as much as I like Buendia, Odegaard’s potential is higher. Should he be given opportunities to play and he performs, then Arsenal may be able to convince him to stay and negotiate to buy from Real Madrid. They won’t want an unhappy player on their hands, if Zidane doesn’t want to play him.

  11. S.J says:

    Left-back, Goal-keeper, Central-midfielder, Attaking-midfielder, Right-winger.

    Pressing needs in that order. Attacker would be needed if Lacazette, Nketiah or Balogun is sold.

    It is clear we need 5 players.

  12. jon fox says:

    A nicely balanced and well considered article, overall. I much appreciateb that vreal thought has gone into its construction and think that certain OTHER article writers should follow suit.
    I slightly disagree that the old fashioned type tall i.e as with Giroud, target men are now in vogue. Mobility, pace and determination up front are now the modern way.

    What we in general lack across much of the team is a lack of passing pace, lack of mobility in such as Xhaka and a lack of determination in such as Willian, Pepe and Auba.

  13. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    Your comments on Wenger are duly noted and hopefully we can use this window to rid ourselves of any leftover members of the deadwood society…we must sell-off, or not re-sign, Laca, Xhaka, Luiz and possibly Bellerin in the summer, then purchase 2 high ceiling midfielders, one attacking in nature and the other for defensive cover…all other cover should come from within our academy ranks or more youthful prospects who have been appropriately scouted and who will provide some wage bill relief so we can focus most of our available funds on developing a Best 11…I didn’t mention Willian simply because I know it will be almost impossible to find a potential sucker, I mean suitor, even though that would be my greatest wish…btw your commentary regarding Auba seems to be too strongly influenced by recency bias or the “what have you done for me lately” approach to criticism, which runs counter to any assessment about said individual prior to this most unusual of seasons for him…he’s a world-class talent and I can only hope he once again proves you wrong

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