Have faith – Arsenal can still keep winning without a new midfielder

Will Arsenal regret not adding a new midfielder or not?

Of all the drama that unfolded on the transfer deadline day, not being able to add a new midfielder might come back to haunt Arsenal.

The Gunners were unable to strike a deal with their Premier League counterparts Aston Villa for the signing of Douglas Luiz.

Their three bids, with the last one being £25 million was rejected by The Villains, as they stood firm on their stance of not selling the Brazilian on deadline day.

The North London outfit were confident of doing a deal with Villa, due to the player’s contractual situation and Edu’s working relationship with Luiz’s agent Kia Joorabchian.

Now, Arsenal find themselves with only two defensive midfielders in Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga. After the latter’s arrival last summer, the young Belgian has failed to establish himself as an influential piece in Arteta’s puzzle.

Last season, the midfielder only started 12 games in the Premier League for the team. This season he has only started one, which came in the midweek game against Steven Gerrard’s outfit, a few days ago.

Despite the doubts, the 22-year-old had a good game at the Emirates Stadium, in which Arsenal didn’t really look like a weakened side.

Regardless, I would still like to see Thomas Partey starting the Premier League games instead of Lokonga. Even though Lokonga is a good player, I think he will struggle against physical Premier League sides who opt for a high press.

To look from an optimistic lens, getting more minutes will be invaluable for Lokonga’s development, who will be hoping to impress the Arsenal manager as well as the fans.

I am pretty more relaxed for the other position at central midfield, where Arteta has deployed a number eight. Xhaka has been brilliant there, and I think the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira and even Emile Smith Rowe can play to an equal or an even better effect.

Despite being light at the center of the park, Arsenal still have the numbers to plug the socket for the time being. It is also worth considering that this is not a normal season.

This is a mid-season World Cup campaign, where the club football will only continue until mid-November. Thus, I believe we have enough bodies to make it to November in one piece.

Yash Bisht


  1. Xhaka isn’t good in tight spaces and he’s needed on the left wing, so I’d prefer to try White in the CDM position if Sambi-Lokonga gets injured

  2. If Elnenys injury is significant hamstring injury, I think it will effectively rule him out until December (World Cup break between).

    Huge pressure on Parteys fitness, Xhakas discipline and ASLs form. Let’s hope we can prevail without further setbacks. It’s just 13 PL matches, 6 EL matches and few Carabao games to go before the break.

    1. PS

      In hindsight, selling Torreira seems like a bad idea now. Not because he had future here but because we sold him for measly 5 million, surely he could’ve done the job for few months and sell in January or let go for free next summer.

      I mean A Villa declined +25m and are ready to lose Luiz for free so losing 5 million on Torreira wouldn’t had been an issue.

  3. What I see in White is a good defender, but not a player I consider mobile enough, nor fast enough to change direction when running, either with or without the ball.

    I do NOT mean straight line running speed, but when trying to avoid opponents who challenge him.

    I do NOT therefore agree he would be a natural DM and for the PRECISE SAME reasons why Xhaka is not one either.

    1. We should have kept Niles or Azeez instead of loaning them out… If worse comes to worst, I think White or Saliba can slot in that position if need be

  4. We’re all great arsenal supporters but no matter people may look at things, arsenal will fall because of failing to make some addition to the team. Arsenal players are prone to injuries and the little boys are likely unable to keep the pressure from physical and pressing teams. We should have added at least one midfielder. This had been happening for years, we used to missed the fourth position purely because of injury crisis, not now.

  5. An alternative to a Partey type DM is a Pirlo type DM. Would a player like Pirlo fit into the modern PL teams? I can undoubtedly say so. So who we have in our squad that is equivalent to a Pirlo type Player? I think Zinchenko fits the bill more close enough than anyone else. Maybe Sambi as his calmness, passing and passing range is admirable.

    Next I would actually try Fabio Viera as DM. Sounds crazy but he can recycle balls and not lose possession at all. One needs to be superb at ball control as a DM or needs to be a destroyer.

    But that’s just my opinion. I grew up admiring players like Pirlo. So, would definitely love to see someone among the modern players take up his shoes. I think Sambi can come very close if he focuses on his alertness and press evasion.

  6. What is so impressive now is the flexibility, togetherness and chemistry in this team. It’s about belief, team spirit and confidence. There is no guarantee that the next person we could have signed will be immune from injury next week. All in all there is belief that we are much better as a team this season. Our attacking approach has come on leaps and bounds

  7. I strongly think we can deploy Zinchenko to play along side Xhaka around DM positions or a little ahead of Xhaka and then bring Martinelli into the no. 8 role to replace Odergaard, while Emile-Smith Rowe can take up the left side of the flanks, all these being makeshift tactical setups for our next game against Man U. It’s not the injuries that are our problem, but the number of them & the calibre of players affected. Be that as it may, these are things u should expect in any season and is why u build on squad depth. Let’s experiment this and see how well it works. The away game to Man U provides a different opponent proposition for us, especially given the wake-up call to producing better results that Man U’s players have rallied to; it will be very interesting to see how Arsenal handle them on Sunday evening. Even if we come out of that game with a draw, my greatest concern will be that we see the game off without any additional injuries

  8. Man. United would go for a brutal game against arsenal considering that it’s the only way to gain momentum and beat us. It’s high time arsenal prepare for a physical game. That’s the usual way united play arsenal.
    Secondly, united play on counter attack, especially when they meet big and skillful team, they use the flanks to get their goals and they’re very successful in that. Therefore, arsenal should be very weary of that. If we’re able to keep united firm on the flanks which are their main power for goals, then all shall be well with us. United are also very good on set piece ball, arsenal get ready to take care of that.

    1. Agree with ARS.AV went physical and look what had happened.
      MU wi ll be desperate for 3 points.MA is a more
      pragmatic tactician.He s more flexible than the fm.
      A draw would be good enough in the circumstances.Watch out for the ref.Arsenal were denied a penalty in the A game

  9. I think arsenal will be fine without Elneny, but, it’s the Partey injury that concerns me. Arsenal must be ruthless and sell Partey in January transfer window. He’s on very high wages and spends more time in the hospital than on the field. Arsenal should invest in a younger quality defensive midfielder like Danilo and a central midfielder like Sergij Milinkovic-savic in January. Elneny, Holding, Nelson and Cedric should also be sold in the January transfer window to raise funds to help secure the acquisition Danilo, Milinkovic-savic and Mudryk.

    1. I disagree. Arsenal cannot afford to sell Partey at this point; certainly not for the options you are proposing. I do think however that the squad needs to be strengthened.
      Those other players you suggest are talented but unproven at this level.

    2. You just made a very good point about Partey..It may not be a populalar stance among out fan base. But he’s too injury prone. If we can get £30mil for him in January.. I say sell and get someone younger and hungrier like Tonali.

  10. But Arsenal will win on Sunday not because they are man to man better than Man United or they got all the right players for each position.

    They will win because they are a T.E.A.M, and not a bunch of overpriced people come together for ninety minutes.

  11. As of now. Arsenal aren’t in the next Jan transfer window yet to start transfer talks. But are in this season’s post simmer transfer window assessing the summer deals that they’ve done on the incomings and outgoings.
    Despite their not been successful to get Douglas Luiz signed on the last Deadline Day transfer business. Which was due to his Aston Villa club unnecessary stubborn refusal not to sell him to Arsenal.
    But notwithstanding, Aston Villa denying Arsenal. And their not having Thomas Partey and ElNeney available for their away match to Man Utd on Sunday. And could also not have Odegaard, Zinchenko and Ramsdale available for the match, all due to long and short term injury problems
    But nevertheless, Arsenal have viable options in the ranks of their team in Lokonga, ESR, and Tunner to start the Arsenal first big game match of this season against Man Utd at Old Trafford in the EPL. And beat them unfailingly at their backyard to the collection of all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match for collection.

  12. It’s all hell broken loose if a few Arsenal players got injured. Have some faith and learn to trust the players to cover wherever necessary.

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