Forget a superstriker – Why Arsenal need to focus on buying top defenders this summer

Following on from yesterday’s positive guest post from Moggy, the new man over at, he has sent me another excellent analysis that he has written about why Arteta should be focusing on improving the defence this summer. So here it is….

The facts and stats say Arsenal need to improve their defence and don’t need a top striker

I have never understood why the prevailing suggestions that Arsenal must have a 20+ goal striker next season to be successful. I am of the opinion that having multiple sources of goals within the team is much more important, and that Arsenal has plenty of players who can score goals.

I would argue that Arsenal should prioritize other areas of the team, such as the midfield, fullbacks, and centerbacks, which need more investment to improve the team’s defensive record.

The fact is that Arsenal has scored a decent number of goals this season, with multiple players contributing to the team’s goal tally. The saying goes that the League Table doesn’t lie, and that is telling me that, despite the high-scoring defeats that Man City have been giving to their opponents this season, they have scored only 9 more goals than Arsenal up to now. Plus, for further perspective, the team in third, Newcastle United, have 20 fewer goals than Arsenal!

However, the team has struggled defensively and has conceded more goals than some of its rivals. Again, the table says both Man City and Newcastle have let in 11 goals less than the Gunners, and Chelsea, who are having a nightmare season down in 11th place, have also conceded one goal less than us!

Therefore, I think that Arsenal should focus more on improving its defence, which has been unbelievably poor at home. Other than the relegated sides, only Fulham, Bournemouth and Everton have let in more in home games, which you must admit is a crazy stat for a team that had pretensions of winning the title. So much for Fortress Emirates!

Okay, I would agree that Arsenal could benefit from acquiring a taller striker who is good in the air, to offer something different. However, it seems to me that Arsenal’s style of play under Arteta does not rely heavily on crosses into the box, and therefore a tall multi-goal specialist striker should not be a priority for the Boss, who would rather work with more attacking options from midfield or the wings.

So, it makes sense to me that Arsenal should prioritize improving its defense and investing in other areas of the team this summer rather than splurging on an expensive 20+ goal striker.

I think that Arsenal has more than enough firepower in our current squad and that with some strategic investments in key positions, the team can improve its defensive record and compete at the highest level in the next campaign.

Just my opinion Gooners!


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  1. Not a 20+ goal striker, but a strong CF who can hold the ball in ground duels and win aerial balls for his team

    If you watched Man City’s games against Real Madrid, you’d understand that the CF doesn’t have to score but he must be a major nuisance for his markers

    If we have that kind of pivot in our front-line, we could escape from the opposition’s high-press more often and create more chances for his teammates

    A dominant CB is important, but the CF is also an essential part for our spine. Jesus is a very good CF, but we need a very different alternative on the bench to vary our attacking method

    1. GAI
      I think I said I b4 recently
      All four teams that were left in the CL has a forward who held the ball up and good on the air
      So I agree whole heartedly on your comments
      Plus I also believe weakest link at times is Gabriel
      He hasn’t helped out at times Zen and left us exposed on the left
      So many positions to fill and not enough money

      1. Alan, it’s good that you’ve identified the similarities of all UCL semi-finalists. People usually value a CF based on his goal tally only

        In my opinion, Magalhaes is pretty consistent this season, if we compare him with Saliba who’s made more fatal errors. Kiwior should push him to improve further for the left CB role

      2. 👍 CF also has to be able to hit the target and make the opposition keeper earn his wages. Arsenal has too many profligate players in the final third; don’t they prsctice shooting?
        Also quality box to box and defensive midfielders.
        Two quality tall physical centre backs.
        5 Players minimum.

  2. Yes those positions mentioned for strengthening are vital. However, if a tall physically imposing goal poacher becomes available at the right price I will do it.
    Take for instance in games where our midfield(and sometimes our wings) which to me is the main source of chance creation get stifled, we simply fail to do anything with the ball.
    It’s not in every game that we’ll be able to dominate teams in a way that’ll create chance for anyone to score. There’ll be game when you’ll need someone specifically to target with ball ( to score or bring others into play) if you want a break through, take it or leave it.

    Notwithstanding, on a scale of preference I will sort out that midfield and defense first.

  3. The article makes sense even though I GUESS MOST OF US, MYSELF INCLUDED, FIRMLY BELIEVE WE BADLY NEED A TOP CLASS CF WITH HEIGHT POWER, ABILITY TO HOLD THE BALL AND ABOVE ALL WHO CAN SCORE REGULARLY. This is not to suggest we do not also need defenders too, esp a top class CB to replace the way below par Holding, who MUST surely now , even though years too late, LEAVE US!

  4. Agree with gotanidea. Two teams that have not performed this year Man U and Chelsea do not have a decent CF. Man City managed without a front man due to the fact that they have so many top players who can score goals. Haarland is just the icing on the cake. Pep realised that he was the missing link and understood that Jesus could not provide what he wanted. Teams have more recently double marked Saka and Martinelli so our scoring ability has been reduced. We do need a 20 goal a season CF to give us more options to set up scoring opportunities. We need five players. One CF two central midfielders and two central defenders.

  5. First of all, the reason we have shipped goals is due to the inverted left back tactic employed by Arteta.If we continue with this system we will never have the solidarity needed to win the League.Significantly, the only players to come out of the Brighton match were ,in my opinion, Gabriel and Tierney who defended capably whereas White and Kiwior did not.Normally Gabriel is put under pressure by the meanderings of Zinchenko, but against Brighton he was solid helped by having Tierney beside him.They were sufficiently solid to encourage the Brighton Manager to switch Mitoma from the right to the left where, unfortunately, he was very effective.As far as I am aware, we are the only Club in the League which adopts this inverted left back set up.Man City certainly did when Cancello was around, but basically they are currently operating a back three which I suspect will win them the European Cup.

    1. The reason we are second in the league is the fact that we play the inverted left back system,Tierney was awful against Brighton as he’s been the last couple of games when zinchenko got injured,he offers little to the team that’s why zinchenko was signed to change the system ,im not sure how someone who claims to know his football keeps on blaming zinchenko every chance he has ,silly talk IMO .
      The games moved on and Tierney is not where it’s at I’m afraid no matter how you try to convince yourself and others alike .

      1. Just focussing on the facts.Are you suggesting that Zinchenko, who was a back up player for Man City is not a poor defender? If we persist with him as an inverted LB we will continue to have defensive problems even if we are fortunate enough to secure the services of Caicedo and/or Rice.I am trying to be civil and constructive and will not resort to any snide comments which you seem to take pleasure in dishing out whenever your views are challenged.

        1. You haven’t challenged my views I’ve challenged yours which make no sense whatsoever ,every post you make on the daily is about the zinchenko and how good Tierney is apparently ,you obviously have a personal problem with Zinchenko who as helped us no end this season ,just because your fellow Scot hasn’t got a look in ,there was no snide comment from me just an observation ,as for leaking goals 8% of those this season came in the Brighton match where Tierney played .

          1. I think it is worth saying that our defence was at it’s strongest before the wc, and that was with Zinchenko in the side. It was significantly worse after the wc, and zinchenko was in the side for most of it.
            It shows that we are capable of being defensively sound with Zinchenko at left back, even though we can all see he’s not a natural defender. Tierney didn’t help much when he came in, but i think we can see he is a better individual defender, who could definitely form a part of a solid defence
            It’s all about the system we play and the form the players. Tierney clearly doesn’t fit our system so well (but i think he’d be superb at Newcastle), whereas zinchenko has shown that he’s a bit of a weak link when he’s not on form, or the team is off form.

            All this says to me is that Tierney should move to another club and we need a new left back who can cover for and challenge zinchenko – unless we’re going to change our system in such a way that will better suit Tierney (eg a back 3)

        2. Grandad, I’ve just seen Dan Kit’s post to you, and thought I better say something about Tierney. Do you remember we had a brief correspondenc yesterday and you said Ferguson and Dalgliesh rate Tierney ? Then I said, yes they are two Scottish managers (which they are). I didn’t know you are Scottish and I hope you didn’t take my comment personally because it wasn’t meant to be an insult. Anyway like I said yesterday I do like Tierney but he’s not brilliant.

    2. I would like to keep KT but you won’t be able to use him a lot due to the qay we play
      Against Newcastle. We sat deep and I thought he was immense
      Against Brighton where we were awful abut had to be more expansive he wasn’t to good like a lot of others on the day
      Playing a flst back seems to not be the thomg thing these days as proven again by city.
      Stones is one.player who has in recent weeks and frightens me to death
      He carries the ball at speed
      Is a power house and scores
      We have scored a hatful this season on how we play a.d up and until the back got disrupted we had the 2nd best against record
      We also loom more fluid going forward but again
      Horses for courses we need to pick a team at times to suit the Opposition
      CL will be a totally different kettle of fish
      Again to keep KT bit if theoa ey is put on the table then take it

    3. Grandad
      I agree with your post and your reasoning.

      Improving the defense, yet leaving a superior defender in Tierney constantly on the bench. Tomiyasu when healthy rarely played at RB or CB.

      Tierney was here before Arteta for 25 million, but Arteta has spent around 200 million on defense alone.

      At what point should his coaching staff take responsibility for their development? Or Arteta for man management and rotation?

      Our defense has depth and quality enough to handle a season if rotated. Tomiyasu and Tierney should be competing for starts not regulars on the bench. Holding even and Kiwor can play against teams at bottom of PL if paired with a solid CB partner.

      If Zinchenko moved to CM we would need another FB, and another CB if Holding moves on.

      IMHO Jesus isn’t a CF or starting material so we need a striker who scores. Second, we need a mobile and complete CM B2B player and competition for Partey.

  6. I disagree,yes we have conceded 11 goals more than City but I’m pretty sure that we would have conceded less had Saliba/Tomi not got injured at the same what will you do when they are fit again?not only that but Kiwior has shown that with more games and time he can be a very good backup.also,something which is still true to this day,even the best defenders in the world need good cover/protection from their midfield.that’s why I think next season with everyone fit again,DM should be our priority ,a box to box MD and of course a tall CF à la Giroud.if KT was to leave we would need a new inverted LB as cover for Zinchenko (also I am not convinced by Turner).

    1. You’re really missing the point here.
      Are you telling me any or both of Saliba/Tomiyasu may not get injured again next season. Or should we just fold our arms and hope both don’t get injured in order to maintain a good defense?
      Imo, we need one or two defenders with more of physicality and athletism in there to add something different.
      This of course coupled with the signing of a box to box and a DM in the same mould complements each other.

      1. No,they might get injured again next season but during the same period,what are the chances??do you remember that night in Lisbon when they both got injured?MA decided to rest several regular starters but some reason not Saliba ?also MA used Holding for several games and not Kiwior,whom I think has shown that by next season could be a very capable backup.we are talking about 11 goals over a full season which is not many.if you exclude the individual mistakes/blunders and hash penalties against us,the game is even smaller.

        1. Somebody asked: Don’t they practice shooting? I want to re echo it. Don’t arsenal players practice shooting during training? Because this idea of trying to walk ball into an opponent net ended with Wenger’s era. Our players needs orientation on the area of shooting. Again, talking about areas to improve, am shocked to find out that nobody is talking about goal keeping. In as much as Ramsdale performed well, he needs a strong competition. Whoever that scouts players for the club should please concentrate on players with physicality and athletism. Players with only skills are not finding it easy in PL except those that are exceptionally good.

  7. Every team needs a top quality forward ,for me jesus ,as good as he was at the start of the season as looked awful recently and 50 million seems not so much a bargain now .
    I remember some fans on JA ,(I won’t mention names)suggesting city looked worse with Haaland in their side this season now look at them,in a another CL final fA cup final and sit pretty at the top of the league .
    Personally would try and recoup what we can off jesus and get in a proven scorer that can hit 20 goals plus ,Oshimen being the one for me ,we have the players to get the best out of Him .

    1. Jesus is not going to score 25-30 prem league goals that’s what you really need up top to be successful he is better in the wide areas like man city used him he can contribute with goals and assists but will never be prolific ! Arsenal need at least 5 top quality signings and I mean top quality to take them to the next level prob need to spend 250 mill to achieve that!

      1. Yea ,Arsenal fans suggesting he would hit 20 goals plus at the start of the season ,I’m not sure how many he as TBH without looking but I would guess it’s half that amount ,I know he was out for a fair whack but he’s come back and done absolutely nothing and we look worse than others him in the side than we did with Eddie leading the line .

  8. Unless saliba wants to go we don’t need a single cb. It was just unlucky that both Tomi and Saliba went down injured at the same time. Cancelo makes a lot of sense in my opinion. He can play inverted Rb and Lb and can slot into the midfield with ease.

  9. White and Tomiyasu are CBs. We do not need CBs, we do need a RB who can play as inverted, so Zinny or new RB – one plays and Tierney or White – one can play. That frees Tomiyasu and White to back up the CB position. That way we will have 5 good CBs excluding Holding, and can concentrate on other positions

  10. Balogun sounds like he would fit the bill – not sure why we are so keen on selling him. Newcastle mullahed Brighton – not sure what our problem was?

  11. Cancelo did not look that good last night against Newcastle. Ben White had a bad game against Brighton but has combined well with Saka during the season. Dont believe he should be moved after one bad game

    1. JRS do you mean Caicedo ? Yes he was a bit all over the place playing in a relatively unfamiliar position. Just goes to show players can look poor on any single given day.

  12. This is a tricky question, one could argue we miss out on the big jug primarily due to our defending.
    Had we been more tidy around the back no doubt things would have been much more complicated for the Citizens at the finish line.

    But the need for an attack bully will just be as important for the next campaign as Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United , Man city , Newcastle even Emery and the Villans may hang on to complicate matters when the championship being decided.

  13. I disagree with you. Arsenal need a strong, tall striker who has a knack for goals. Jesus is short and misses a lot of chances. His hold up play is not even average. I can’t remember him winning aerial battle. He may not necessarily be a +20 goal striker. We need a striker whose physical presence intimidates defenders. If we have had a striker that fits the above description, we would by now be singing songs of victory no matter number of goals the defense conceded.
    So, a striker is our major priority as well as DM, CB and RB. Efforts should be made to retain Tierney with the assurance of giving him more game time.
    Let their be a clear out of those surplus to requirement, please.

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