Arsenal’s new midfielder must be someone that can improve our stats from set pieces

The 2023–24 season did not end the way most Arsenal fans had hoped. Following a strong second half of the season, our boys in red and white were able to extend the title race to the final day of the season. They needed Manchester City to drop points in their final game of the season, but the Citizens didn’t, so they won the league by two points.

Next season, our boys will try again, and we hope they will be better prepared to outwit the Citizens in the title chase. Next season, perfection will be critical, and the set pieces are one area where they must maintain their high level of performance.

As excellent as we were at set pieces last season, the Gunners scored an incredible 20 goals from set plays (the highest in the league), with centre-backs Gabriel and William Saliba dominating corners and free kicks. However, I believe our players should have been more efficient in the air. Yes, there is a lot of height, but a few of our Gunners were dominant in the air. Gabriel and Saliba were the obvious standouts.

Mikel Arteta’s transfer targets clearly demonstrate his efforts to enhance that aspect of his team’s performance. Ricardo Calafiori, Amadou Onana, and Mikel Merino are examples of targets that provide both aerial threat and technical skill. Calafiori won 2.30 aerial duels per 90 minutes last season, ranking him in the 65th percentile. Last season, Onana won 2.24 aerial duels per 90 minutes, ranking him in the 94th percentile. Merino won 5.99 aerial duels per 90 minutes last season, placing him in the top 99 percentile.

Clearly, based on that statistic, Mikel Arteta wants to provide Nicolas Jover with fine enhancements that he can sharpen to make Arsenal better aerially than they were.

What do you think?

Darren N


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Tags Arsenal corners Jover set-pieces

5 Comments

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  1. I think a players ability at set pieces is not a priority when it comes to a scouting assessment on a midfielder.

  2. We need someone who can consistently score from free-kicks. Ward-Prowse is good for that, but he’s not great in tight-spaces and his physicality is also not good

  3. I don’t think we would need much of set pieces next season, it’ll be more of technical open play with stiffling dominance. I think direct free kicks will be in the mix of our goals as well.

  4. Another five or six goal from free kicks or shots outside the penalty from the likes of Odegaard and Rice should do the trick. We sometimes have to work too hard to create clear cut chances and a sucker punch long shot does wonders to break down the morale of a well organised defence. Neither Odegaard or Rice are Gerrard’s but between them the could be more efficient with their shooting.

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