Arsenal have had some quality backups this season – but we need more…

This season, the 2023–24 season, has been quite exciting for Arsenal, as they have made significant progress that sets the stage for a promising future. Mikel Arteta has been fortunate to have a squad of high quality.

Gone are the days when his subs left people with more questions than answers. When you check out the Arsenal team sheet game after game, it’s hard to deny that we had a pretty solid bench this season. Throughout the season, we witnessed:

Raya for Ramsdale
Trossard for Martinelli
Jorginho for Partey
Kiwior for Zinchenko
Tomiyasu for Kiwior
Tomiyasu for Ben White
Jesus for Saka
Jesus for Trossard/Martinelli
Arteta really had quality back-ups. But there’s still a level to reach, you know? That level is all about having a solid squad that you can rotate every week. Having backups is awesome, but it’s also cool to have two top-notch players for each position. That way, anyone can step in for the other, and the performance stays consistently high.
If Arsenal wants to stay competitive in various competitions, they can’t rely on the same players every single week. It’s great to have quality players like Pedro Neto (if signed) and Bukayo Saka on the right wing to rotate depending on the game. For example, Neto can play during a weekend’s PL fixture, while Saka can then play on a weekday’s Champions League fixture.
During the summer, Arsenal could start bringing in some more top-notch players, which would allow them to have two quality players for each position in the long run. Unfortunately, this could potentially lead to cashing in on some players, but it may actually be for the greater good.
What do you think?
Daniel O

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25 Comments

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  1. Arteta has to start utilising his squad. He just keeps running Saka, Odegaard etc into the ground. He hardly ever subs them as they normally play 90 minutes nearly every game.

  2. As good as Arteta is trying as an intelligent coach, I think he lacks the strength of strong believe in certain players. He doesn’t rotate enough which leaves his players to suffer burn out in the course of the season.
    When they remain too long on the bench they suffer lack of form when needed.
    For legs of players to remain fresh they need occasional breaks and the coach should rotate. May give some academy players opportunity. Imagine if Saka was never given chance?
    At the moment I think we only need a Striker and a quality midfielder. Pathey needs to leave since his return he has lacked his usual athletism and slow at times he is not getting younger either.

  3. timely article with similar articles raising the possibility of Sesko and Guimaraes joining, they could add the versatile depth that Arteta/Edu value so highly

    Guimaraes though is not a back-up, he goes straight in the starting XI

    Sesko is more of a back-up than automatic starter, one of the reasons why I expect Arteta/Edu prefer this profile of player over the blockbuster striker names bandied about

    we will see

    and expect we will see shortly as Edu has done his homework, knows who he wants and likes to get his business done early

    i would not be surprised if both signed in time for our pre-season US tour

  4. Sometimes to build squad depth you need to look from within, we’ve young and hungry players from our development structures and all they need is a chance and some faith. Sometimes you just can’t have a player, playing every minute of the league for example Saliba because if anything happens to the player you might not have a ready made replacement.

    What I wish to see more next Season is
    Odegard being rotated with Kai
    Saliba – White and Timber
    Gabriel- kiwior and new DF
    Saka – new RW
    Rice- new MD

    I believe these are some of the reasons Arteta buys versatile players like Ben in the first place

  5. If we’re going for a LB, I’d take a look at A Robinson of Fulham. I think he’s won the most amount of possession out of all the PL players and he has 6 assists. Also he’s homegrown. Seems like defensively solid player but who can chip in attack as well, kind of like White.

    Never injured either.

  6. 4 top class players required to take us to the next level a left back central midfielder to partner rice a wide player to provide competition for Saka and who Arteta can put straight in for me Saks plays to much and his form has not been consistant for a while he definitely needs the competition to keep him on his toes and the final piece in the jigsaw a 25-30 goal a season striker achieve all that in the transfer window and we will win the league!

  7. Maybe utilise the Academy that we were once renowned for ,else what’s the point spending millions per season on it without bringing anyone through .
    We cannot keep spending countless monies something as to give .
    Used to be proud with the way Wenger won stuff on a shoestring budget watching other teams spend millions now it seems we have joined that club ,this is why so many fans’me included have started to fall out of love with football .

    1. Maybe we haven’t got anyone good enough to bring through. How many have city, Madrid, Liverpool brought through ? Wenger didn’t win nothing with a shoe string budget though did he Dan. He had the second best resources in the league behind united until we moved to the emirates. Then the rest is history. No premier leagues or champions leagues just fa cups. Stop depicting Wenger as some managerial god to have a pop at Mikel. We were laughing stocks of the league for a good 6 7 years under his guidance.

      1. You mean Liverpool who knocked us out of the Fa cup with a seconded string team and youngsters against our full squad .
        And as for the rest of your post buddy ,learn your history mate as you have Absolutely no clue whatsoever what you’re going on about .

        1. So we lost one game against liverpools second team. How many were brought through ? How many from Madrid and city ? You failed to answer my actual point ?

          Onto Wenger and this so called show string he won so much on.

          1997-98: Newcastle £21m (13th); champions Arsenal £16.55m

          2000-01: Leeds £38.45m (4th); ­champions Manchester United £7.8m Arsenal spent 51 million on the combination of Wiltord, Jeffers’s, Lauren and Pires.

          2001-02: Manchester United £57m (3rd); champions Arsenal £23.25m. Yes they doubled are spend but we spent 5x what they did in the previous summer.

          2003-04: Chelsea £121m (2nd); champions Arsenal £13.25m This is where you are correct however we had a team built ready and had acquired Reyes the previous season.

          So tell me when he was successful and had a shoe string budget please ?

    2. “Used to be proud with the way Wenger won stuff on a shoestring budget watching other teams spend millions now it seems we have joined that club ,this is why so many fans’me included have started to fall out of love with football.”

      This is the reason I can’t bring myself to like Arteta no matter how hard I try. Nothing personal against the man but I detest buying trophies and used to be so proud of Arsenal’s way. Not so much since Arteta joined.

      I see what Emery is doing at Villa and that should have been our way.

      1. What has Emery won at villa ? Do you actually know how much Emery spent in the summer ? He’s got two 35 million pound cbs in Torres and Carlos and spent around 60 on Diaby and paid some hefty loan fees to get Zanoila in. You and Dan are just embarrassing trying to spurt nonsense about net spend as a disguise to have a pop at Arteta.

        1. Only one person here embarrassing themselves buddy .
          And everything I said in
          My original post is pretty much Bang on
          Wengers net spend in 22 years 349 million
          15 million per season
          Peps net spend in his first 22 months 361 million .
          Like I said shoestring budget when you compare what he had to go up against ,
          I could give you some more figures but it will probably go straight over your head and will come back with some Arteta defensive talk .
          Oh and where did I have a pop at Arteta?
          Just stated that the Academy needs to be used .

          1. Bang on according to you !!! The second Wenger didn’t have the resources to compete we didn’t win the league it’s as simple as that. You are saying we won stuff on a shoe string budget when we clearly didn’t unless you count too 4 as a trophy. Wenger after 2010 was a joke and even allowed Tottenham to finish about us half the time who had a worse budget. You need to get a grip and remember that after 2006 we weren’t a successful club until mikel came in and got us competing again.

      2. HH, Wenger spent millions on players as well. Can you name me one PL club that has won silverware without spending money ?

        Even during the 30’s, when we dominated the First Division, we spent heavily, becoming known as the Bank of England club.

        1. HD not really. Wenger occasionally spent big money which was not above 60M and we got the likes of Aubameyang, Laca, and Ozil. When did Wenger spend 250 million a season?

          Leicester City, but I know you are going to try to talk around that but the fact is they did win the PL against the current mighty top 6 with a shoestring budget.

  8. This article is kinda stating the obvious – and missing the point that “the project” (rebuild) is still ongoing.

    Looking at the squad you have people on too much money who just couldn’t be shifted yet – Arteta/Edu would have moved on the likes of Cedric if they could. But he wouldn’t budge.
    They might move on Elneny if they could replace him but there’s FFP limiting what can be done each season – and ofc there’s what’s available in the market for each position.

    If Elneny can provide backup on a cheap-ish short contract, then why sign another non-starting player on a 5-year deal, a transfer fee and probably more wages?

    There’s a lot of those types out on loan to park them until deals can be done and keep them off the books in the meantime – all the while, their contracts tick down by a year without costing Arsenal.

    Cedric leaves next month naturally, contract expires. Getting deals to shift the likes of Lokonga etc will be key as the project comes to an end.

    Then – and only then – can better backup players be bought – preferably players who compete for starting roles.

  9. I disagree with the premise of this article.

    I think primarily, we need some first choice players, rather than back-ups.

    We need a left sided midfielder, a speedy left back, and a 20 goal a season forward, preferably all three with pace.

    The most important thing about these new players should be that they are better than what we have in those positions currently!!!

    These players will come at a price, but I would rather have no new players, than just warm bodies.

  10. Summed up very well JW.On the subject of a left sided midfielder, I have been very impressed with young Wharton at Palace who was signed for a relatively modest fee from Blackburn.

  11. It is for exactly this reason I believe Arsenal should hold onto Jesus. He is a proven quality RW alternative to Bukayo Saka. Saka has to take a rest occasionally and Jesus has different qualities to Saka.

    I like Amadou Onana at Everton but he is too raw and full of mistakes. For this reason someone to play at the base of midfield such as Zubimendi to allow Rice to push forward would be ideal, or a player like Milinkovic-Savic to play the more advanced role and Declan can hold the fort. Plus Milinkovic-Savic is 6’4″ so adds even more size.

    The main area of the team that needs addressing is LB. I really like Kiwior and think he can do a real job there in the future but for now it is my feeling we need an actual quality left-sided player there like Gvardiol or Ake have done at City. Could also put in a cheeky big for Micky Van Der Ven…

    I think Martinelli should be converted into a striker. He’s fast, two-footed, and probably the best finisher at the club. He never passes up the opportunity to shoot and that is the one criticism I have of Havertz. Kai possesses all the qualities Haaland doesn’t but critically lacks that killer instinct because fundamentally he is a team player. Martinelli is more selfish and that is what you want in a striker.

    1. What ? Martinelli is nowhere the best finisher at the club and he’s certainly not two footed. He would be decent in a set up like Leicester had with Vardy but not Arsenal. Havertz is far more clinical than Martinelli and Havertz isn’t clinical either.

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