At a time when Arsenal are conceding more goals than ever in the last 20 years, and with our best defender (and captain) Laurent Koscielny making it clear he doesn’t want to be with us next season, it has never been more obvious that we are dire need of defensive reinforcements.
But, going by Emery’s latest comments on how he expects his defence to be set up next season, it looks like he intends to move Monreal to the centre along with Sokratis and Mustafi when he wants a back three, and use Kolasinac as a more conventional left-back in the back four formation, although we know that he is rarely trusted in that position. And to cap it all, it looks like Jenkinson is going to be used as backup to Maitland-Niles until Bellerin gets back from injury.
This is what Emery told Arsenal.com: “Last year we used different systems during the season. Each moment, each match was thinking about how we were better in our positioning for defence or attack. We are starting last year working in general with a back four and trying to use two players like Ainsley and Sead, working a lot in this back four and also with Jenkinson, maybe Nacho, his natural habit was to play back four and sometimes like a left centre back in a back three.
“But we want to use two systems and we are working with two systems, but our first objective is to play with a back four. We are continuing working on that and, above all, feel that we defensively get stronger with a back four with Sead, with Ainsley, with Sead, with Jenkinson and with Hector when he comes back. But we can take the performance with two systems and I think it’s rich for us tactically to use two systems and have two options.”
So, right now I think we can take it as read that Saliba is going to be our only defensive signing, unless we can pull Tierney out of the hat somehow. Emery obviously thinks that we have more than enough options as it is! But what happens if we get early defensive injuries and suspensions like last season?
Oh we can only hope that Rob Holding can regain full fitness as quick as possible!