Do Arsenal need another centre-back to cover for Saliba and Gabriel?

Sagna says Arsenal need to buy another defender

There’s no doubt that Arsenal had one of the best defensive unit’s last season, with both Gabriel and Saliba being extremely consistent and creating this unstoppable partnership. It seems silly to even think about switching anything up next season, but do we need to bring in a young defender who can cover the centre back position if needed?

Ex Arsenal player Bacary Sagna thinks so, speaking with ‘Paddy Power’ Sagna has said Arsenal need to focus on bringing in another defender for depth, saying this: “Arsenal should sign another centre-back. William Saliba and Gabriel stayed injury-free this season, but they had many games and would want to rest them at some point.

“You need to cover the positions as a team – they should sign one centre-back, one holding midfielder and one striker. The centre-back position needs to have some depth. At some point, they will suffer from tiredness, and Arsenal need to be able to bring someone on without changing the shape of the team.

“They need someone solid that can take responsibility, has experience of this pressure and can keep up with the high level of the team.”

And although I agree that Arsenal will need to think about depth this season, we also have a few players who can already fill that role if need be and splashing out cash on another young defender, might not be the ideal option.

We have Jurrien Timber, who is going to be just like a new signing, after being out almost the entire season, we realistically have a brand new player who is sitting there ready to play. Timber is extremely versatile and can play across the whole backline.

Personally, I’d rather see a younger lad come through from the academy, this save’s money, gives a young lad a chance to get some first team experience, and it means we can focus more on other positions that I think we need to strengthen. With the backline we’ve had this season, it’s been incredible, other than some problems with a Left-back at times. The centre backs haven’t been a problem and with Timber being brought into the fold and the system, I think we will be more than okay.

Maybe bringing in a young talent on loan would be a good option, but I just don’t see the need to splash out on a CB with the budget we have.

What’s your thoughts Gooners?

Daisy Mae


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Tags Saliba and Gabriel


    1. You’re slow If you truly believe your own words. Them player’s will easily get bullied by the likes of haaland , tomi is so average it hurts seeing him represent this great club, as for white let’s not even go there he wasn’t good as a CB the day of signing bc of his poor defending and positioning that’s why they gave him the easiest job to be a fullback. We need Murillo(Forest) & Calafiorio(bologna) or diomande(lisbon) two new CB backups to rotate the CB position alone.

      1. Tomiyasu plays CB for Japan, while Kiwior is also a decent CB and Timber is versatile enough to play CB too.

        If Arsenal will make more attacking signings ; Quality Winger (Saka backup), CF to replace Nketiah and a quality CM to replace Elneny + Sambi

  1. We don’t need a single defender. What’s the point of signing a natural left back when we play a system that doesn’t use one!!! Tomi, Timber Kiwior can all play left back and centre back. Tomi Timber and White Rb and cb.

    1. We actually do cos when saliba suffers a knock you’ll be the 1st to holler “we needed to sign a defender for saliba” I simply don’t understand how some of you guys actually gain your soccer knowledge, with so many competition involvements players are bound to tire and slugg off, we need as many players as we can get in these transfers bc like it or not saliba & Gabriel are humans and they’ll tire eventually system or not, we saw how things go ugly when he suffered that back issue and white was worse at CB along with holding, cost us everything..another prime example why this club needs to boost up CB to rotate around, enough of this inverted nonsense

  2. We’ve got Kiwior and Tomiyasu as their backups. Arsenal should only sign a new CB in January if Kiwior and Tomiyasu aren’t good enough to deputize Magalhaes and Saliba

    We’ll need the transfer budget for other departments, such as the CF position

    1. And if Arsenal had injuries at left back and really good options on the bench to play RM that could be an option in the short term

  3. Need a versitle Defensive midfielder that can also play in defence if needed or a defender that can cover defensive midfield. Either way around, it covers two more positions for Arsenal.
    May be Ousmane Diomande?

  4. Don’t remember Arteta playing Saka in defence. I know that some managers take off a defender and bring on a striker, but that doesn’t mean the striker drops to defence, it just means morecattackers and less defenders on the pitch.
    Also if Saka has played as a defender in the past when he was younger, he must not have performed well, otherwise he would have stayed a defender. Plus if he is not good enough to play in defence at club level, only a numbnut would then pick him to play there fore his country, when you already have 11 internation defenders in your squad to choose from.
    But there are some numbnuts that would still see past that argument, and would still think it’s a good point to play Saka in defence. Ha ha ha ha….

    1. Saka played at left back on numerous occasions for us under both managers. I think the point there are making is that Saka offers more than the left backs available which is tripper at the moment. Shaw should be fit for the later games. However against the likes of Slovakia playing Saka at left back just means another attacker on the pitch as I cant see us doing much defending. Against top draw opposition i wouldn’t play him left back. Bellingham, Saka, Foden and Kane could easily be dropped to the bench due to form in the last 3 games. On merit Palmer deserves a start and atleast this way Saka still gets a game

    2. Saka broke into this team playing at lb and didn’t look out of place defensively and set up a few goals with some brilliant crosses. He *can* play there, whether he’d want to now is another question

    3. Saka is a versatile player. He has played well as a left fullback in the past even though he is unlikely to be the best option against a world class attacker on that side.
      Also, he is one of England’s best attacking players so it’s probably best for him to play in the position where he has been most effective these last few years.
      Despite all this there is a good rationale for Saka playing as a FB or wingback as he would offer a serious attacking threat yet be able to shuttle back and defend.

    4. You may actually be the only numbnut here, mate, because you seem not to know your own club and player’s history.

      Saka has played as a defender for us several times especially in the first year as a senior team member. And yes, he was good at that position; he just happens to be better in attack because of his dribbling skills and eye for goals.

      Those pundits suggesting he be deployed (temporarily) to left wingback to help his national team obviously know more than you do. Because, guess what? Southgate played him at that position against Slovakia when Palmer came in in the second half.

  5. That is the most deficient position we have at Arsenal! Season before last, Saliba got injured few games to the end of the season and we lost the league. We’re lucky both Magalhaes and Saliba were injury free last season. Let us not stretch our luck too far this season. White is not good at center back. He is only good at right full back. It will be unthinkable to rely on any of Timber or Tomiyasu. They lacks the brute quality needed from a centre back in the Premiership.
    We have to go for either Barcalona’s Ronald Araujo or Wolfsburg David Odogu – if there’s no much for for Araujo. We have to also keep Ruell Walters. Arsenal should move away from Kounde as he’s not good enough for us. Arteta should also limit his excessive love for left footed Central defenders. We have more than enough. We need a right footer now.

    1. Totally agree withya we were linked with Murillo(Forest) at one point and I thought that was brilliant for a traditional CB he would be perfect , honestly saliba & Gabriel are humans after all they’ll need resting. None of the Kiwior, White, Timber, tomi were considered as CB backups that’s why saliba played every game and never got rested by any of them so why do we need to have them on the bench as supposed backups if they don’t even get to backup? As for kadioglu idk I like him compared to what zinny & KT brought to us he is more focused and less error prone as well as injury prone and for 15mil I think it’s a bargain.. tomi for me is a player that we can definitely offload somewhere to fund other expenses but overall I agree with everything else you mentioned.

  6. I agree with Sagna on this one. The cover in CD is limited. In an urgent situation it would be possible to cover from within but to rotate more effectively we need to strengthen.

  7. There is need for one defender especially a natural left back or a right back,since white can play there kiwior&Timber too.defensive midfielder and a natural number opinion though

  8. Yes, most definitely.

    A natural centerback who can play either left or right, is definitely needed. We can’t rely on playing a left back or rightback out of position should either Gabriel or Saliba get injured or need to be rested.

  9. Listen to the words of an actual former defender at arsenal. This versatile and inverted defense nonsense is what makes us weaklings, we have inverted so much of our players I wonder if we actually still have any players left who play a natural position tbh. When it comes to defence structure is key and the more structured your defence the better the team will play bc protection is there and rn saliba & Gabriel give us that but they can only do so much and they’ll need resting hence why actual CB as backups for them are needed not versatility or inverted players to step up nope but traditional CBs to rotate around. I personally believe a team needs at least 4CBs, 2LBs & 2RBs and they can rotate around that, Kiwior & tomi & white & Timber have been signed to never play at CBs if they did, we would have seen them make their debuts there in other games and rest up Gabriel or saliba but nope 3420mins we saw saliba at CB never got rested so obvious the supposed options y’all speak on mikel doesn’t even trust enough to play as CB so why not go in the market and get Calafiori and Murillo right away? Stop the versatility nonsense is tired tbh, in the midfield we can have as much as versatility as we can hence MØ role and Rice but in defense you can’t gamble that, that’s not how you win trophies by gambling your defense. Bring in 2 new traditional CBs as rotates and backups plus kadioglu then you can offload tomi to another team cos he is really that Average I don’t like him, get somebody to partner white as RB backup permanently and not occasionally, since partey is leaving add a poweful DM since Rice doesn’t want to play as DM anymore. We can actually bring in 4-5 new players at this club whiles offloading 5more deadwoods as well as loanees, honestly I don’t understand why the club behaves so stupidly in the market..

    1. Football do evolve mate.. sorry to say, but your suggestions are outdated by today’s top club standards.. the defenders we’ve got are good enough to cover both of them when needed. Tomi is not that average. He’s dependable and a reliable option to have as a squad player. He’s a top professional who’ll do his best when being given chance. He’s quite consistent too. Humble yourself and try too accept and agree with other opinions. That’s the best way to improve yourself and take you to another level. Human potential is massive. Never underestimate anyone.

  10. Sim, the inverted system that we play has seen us challenge for the title for the last two seasons. It also saw us have the tightest defence last season, conceding 5 fewer goals than the eventual champions, with our biggest defeat being 2-0.

    White actually played at CB for us before Saliba returned. Tommi and Kiwior have played CBs for their previous clubs. Versatility has always been positive thing if those concerned are happy with it.

    1. @HD, sim, doesn’t seems to catch up with the current trend the club is moving and he’s also unrealistic. Asking for 3 signings in a position that we are the best in the league at seems ridiculous but freedom of speech 🤔🤔🤔

  11. Even if we lost Saliba for a lengthy period I believe White and Tomiyasu could cover reasonably well as not to impact seriously. Forget these know nothing whatever pundits. Arsenal’s focus should be defensive midfielder, attacking wing back and a striker.

    1. I disagree.
      Tomiyasu is good and can cover multiple positions. BW can cover CD. In one off games therefore we would not be significantly affected. However, a more prolonged injury to any of our back 4, particularly CD will leave us short. For example if Saliba is out for any length of time it might mean moving Tomiyasu to CD which in turn limits cover for other positions. Tomi has also had fitness concerns himself.
      In addition to all of this the limited options would result in certain players including the CDs playing a large proportion of our games with no break such as happened last season.

  12. Tomiyasu isn’t a CB. Julian Chambers isn’t a CB. Kiwior isn’t a CB. They are all LB, with perhaps Julian alone being able to play a bit of CB if forced. But PL strikers will bully and maul him and any of the aforementioned LB if played at CB.

    We do not have a genuine CB to cover for Saliba or Gabriel. It will be a grave mistake if Edu and Arteta do not sign at least one back-up who is a natural CB. We may have been fortunate last season to have Saliba and Gabriel play injury-free, but they are only human; exhaustion will start setting in this season if Saliba especially is made to play as many games as he played last season.

    1. Fact is all these players you mentioned are playing center back for their former clubs bar Tommy.

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