Arsenal have not improved the team yet, only replaced what was lost

So far this summer Arsenal have done well replacing what was lost. Gabriel Jesus should replace most of what Arsenal lost when they let both Aubameyang and Lacazette go for free.

Marquinhos should provide a back up option for Saka on the right, if, as expected, Nicolas Pepe moves on.

Fabio Vieira provides relief for Martin Odegaard at the attacking midfield spot, and given his assist numbers he should provide more in that role than the current back up, Emile Smith Rowe.

Matt Turner is a decent player but he is not on the same level as Bernd Leno, and has not played in a competitive league; which could cost the Gunners if he has to see prolonged action. However, Arteta has not rotated his keeper much, so if Ramsdale is healthy, Turner may be adequate for spot duty in domestic cups.

Characterising this window as having improved the team is, however, wishful thinking. So far, the window has been more about replacing what has been, or is expected to be, lost.

In order to improve the team Arsenal need to address the three areas that hurt them so badly last season; Goals and assists from central midfield and quality in depth at fullback.

At central midfield, Youri Tielemans and Sergej Malinkovic-Savic have both been linked and either would add exactly what the Gunners lack most. Either player is probably worth 2-4 wins over the course of a season.

At fullback, Arteta seems unwilling to make a change at right back; which given how obvious Cedric’s failings were during the run-in, seems silly. Keeping Bellerin for the final year of his contract and shipping Cedric out would be the smart move, but Arteta loves Cedric and Bellerin wants to play; so that scenario is unlikely. Aaron Wan Bissaka is unwanted at Man United and would not match Bellerin, but would offer significant improvement over Cedric.

On the left Lisandro Martinez not only addresses the need for back up for the oft-injured Tierney, but depth at holding midfield behind the equally fragile Thomas Partey. Sadly, it is hard to see Arsenal winning the battle with Manchester United on that front unless they are willing to overpay on fees and wages; given Martinez’s relationship with Ten Haag.

In any and every scenario, Arsenal still need more signings….



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  1. It’s yet to be seen if jesus can match or improve on the auba of 3 seasons ago, but to me it’s quite clear he will be an improvement on any of the striking options we’ve had over the past 2 seasons, probably by some distance, but we’ll have to see.
    I also think Vieira could be an improvement on odegaard in the long term (looks to be better at the killer pass), otherwise he will provide greater competition, or he could spur a change in how we play (eg by fitting them both into the side somehow – could see odegaard being better from a deeper position to be honest, a potential xhaka replacement), which I could definitely see improving us from an attacking perspective.
    ESR scored 10 goals last season and rarely played centrally, so I don’t think it’s a good comparison. Then again, we dont know how Vieira will be played – he could play cm, am or on the wing.
    Personally, I think we’ve greatly improved our attacking options, and whether that translates to an improvement on the pitch will depend on how arteta uses them.

  2. I agree with the article i still think wr need another striker midfielder and cover fof left back Pay over tge odds for Martinez if ge can fill three different roles I still have doubts over Nketiah and would like to see a different type of striker coming one who is strong and powerful in the air that would help Arsenal change pattern of play from time fo time We seem to have too many players who play the same role

  3. What do understand by improvement? Isn’t it making something better? If Arsenal have been having less creativity down the middle and they’ve brought in Fabio Vieira whose biggest strengths lie in creating chances, isn’t that improving the team?
    What of letting go of goal-shy Lacazette and replacing him with Jesus? What about the reintroduction of William Saliba who made the Ligue 1 team of the season and the Young Player of the Year in France to a defense that looked much improved?
    Let’s get serious here! When the team brings in morer quality to add to what’s already in place, that definitely is improvement!

  4. I thought Turner should’ve been able to prevent Nurnberg’s second goal. As for Martinez, he seems too slow to compete with Tierney

    Our main weaknesses in the first half of the game in Nuremberg were Smith-Rowe’s and Sambi-Lokonga’s heavy touches in the middle of the field. Hopefully they’d show an improvement in the next game, otherwise let’s see what Vieira, Hutchinson, Flores and Ouland-M’hand can do as central midfielders

    After watching those bad touches, I understand why we were chasing Tielemans. Maitland-Niles played better than our other AMs in Nuremberg, but I feel he’d be transfer-listed due to his expiring contract and our need of funds

  5. Bearing in mind it was probably only injuries late on that cost us top 4 logically defensive players to cover for Tierney Tomiyasu and Partey should have been our first business. But we instead we have spent 90 mill on attackers. Marquinos 7m Vieira 36mill and Jesus 45mill. Turner and Saliba do not help the defensive positions we need. to bolster. I am hoping we have another 90 mill to buy defensive cover.

  6. I think we have massively down graded in the goal keeping department with Turner not being even close to Leno.
    As things stand, (I hope am wrong)we might as well down grade from Partey to Torreira.

  7. I agree with the writer, arsenal need to bring in quality midfielders better than Granit and Partey. They also need a marauding holding midfielder better than Lokonga and Elneny. another right back and if possible striker in case Jesus get injured.

  8. I see Jesus as a great addition but I don’t see him matching Aubameyang’s goal tally the season he won the Golden Boot with others

    But he doesn’t need to as long as the team is scoring more than last season

    As for Tavares, I hope he stays

  9. Arsenal needs a LB and RB and 2 midfielders….either keep Tavares as a wing back for different tactics or loan him out and get another forward player…..every team has to register 25 players after the transfer window closes…..which means 22 outfield players….I’d prefer Arsenal to have 5 midfielders with Partey..2 new midfielders and 2 academy players

  10. another unjustly negative slant at the club. It can easily be argued that given Laccaand AUba never scored over teh last 18 months that Jesus IS an improvement.
    Fabio is obviously an upgrade on other squad members, Niles, the kids, Torreira, etc.
    Marquinos is young but evenmy mum is an upgrade on utterly ineffective Pepe, and giving Saka rest benefits the team
    Turner is the odd one out, I cannot fathom why we would buy him and sell Leno. All our US deals appear to be about oiling stateside wheels for Kronke.

  11. Is your car improved when you replace cheap used parts with better-made fresh parts? When you change a flat tyre, does the quality of the drive not improve?

  12. I’m not sure I agree with a number of assertions in this piece.

    1. If Turner does turn out to be weak, then he won’t be “good enough to cover for a few cup games” because keeper is a position that can’t make mistakes in a sport which is often (usually?) decided by a single goal – so that one mistake often means you’re out of a cup competition.

    2. The assumptions around Martinez don’t seem logical to me:

    (a) Would any sensible club be competing with a MU offer of £43m… for a back-up?

    (b) Why assume that Arteta is planning to play 4 at the back with 2 FBs? He seems to be collecting a lot of CBs and people who can play wing-back – so it seems more likely to me that the preferred approach will be 3CB/2WB (and that means the traditional thinking about midfield roles will be out of the window).

    3. Why compare Jesus to the best that his predecessors ever did? He only needs to do well in order to be a good purchase, he doesn’t need to equal or surpass the best Aubameyang ever did in a single season. Let’s not put too much pressure on the guy, we all want him to do well.

    The modern approach is to look for goals from all over the place, not a single striker with a few others chipping in with a few goals.

    I suspect Jesus will usually play a front-man role but with the emphasis on his high-press capabilities – and his movement in the transition phase should get him (and others) plenty of goals when the press bears fruit. We’ll see.

    1. “Why compare Jesus to the best that his predecessors ever did? He only needs to do well in order to be a good purchase, he doesn’t need to equal or surpass the best Aubameyang ever did in a single season.”
      I agree – i think there needs to be an understanding that jesus doesn’t have to be the league’s top scorer (or even our top scorer) to be as good as or better than aubamayeng – I’d be more interested in his impact on the number of goals we score as a team, and how well we control games. I do think he’ll impact both of those areas.
      Imo the idea that we need to have the top scoring striker to have a great team is well outdated now. I’d rather a striker who scores less but brings more out of his teammates, because it gives us more danger men overall, which makes us harder to play against and less reliant on one or two individuals

    2. I am coming to appreciate more and more the clear thinking in your posts Of course, I DO NOT AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU EVER WRITE .

      That would be a long shot with ANY two fans on JA.

      1. Thanks Jon, I often see your posts as eminently sensible too – although similarly, I don’t agree with everything you write! 🙂

        One example, I hope you won’t mind me mentioning it, is your view on Pat’s posts – I can be happy with Pat posting as an admin/owner and also as a poster expressing opinions, as long as it’s clear in each case which hat he’s wearing 🙂

  13. Jesus has been better than Laca for years. And has been better than Auba since Auba fell off. He’s definitely an upgrade. Saliba can fight to be a starter and has crazy potential. Vieira, we’ll just have to wait and see. Window is not over yet so think this article is premature. Definitely need to get that LB situation resolved, add a CM, (maybe a DM depending on how things pan out with the Partey stuff). And another winger depends on if Marquinhos looks ready to contribute.

  14. So fare we have recruited to top class players, Jesus and Fabio Vieira. Fabio has potential to become a world class player, he has a wonderful left foot, but have also a useful right foot. Marquinhos is an exciting prospect for the future, but he can be useful already next season.

    I thought we were well prepared, but so fare we have not recruited a full-back nor a central midfielder. I’m not satisfied with our recruitments so fare, we definitely need more quality to make the next step,

  15. We have signed only one player who can guarantee a place in the team. We have desperately needed a top midfielder and haven’t got one yet. The centre back saga hasn’t ended yet and our forward line still needs more strength. Not being in the CL has impacted massively on the standard of recruitment.

  16. Oh here we go another negative post, if anyone thinks our squad is not in a better position than it was in January, may as well be linked up with Stevie wonder.

    Since January we have added Jesus, Vieira, turner, marquinhos, runarsson, trusty, Saliba, balogun, Nelson, maitland-niles, Bellerin, Mari, torreira

    If that is not adding squad depth then I don’t know what is?

    1. You didn’t read the article properly, it was about the team, and half the players you mentioned were already in the squad and half wont be come september. But it was about the team.

  17. Nonsense!

    We have Saliba, and Jesus, who have definitely improved the team. We don’t know much about Vieira, but shouldn’t be hard for him to be an upgrade on Pepe, and offers a backup option to Odegaard.

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