Arsenal Debate -How many players do we NEED this summer?

Do Arsenal need so many players to win the title next season? by OI

I read Jamie Carragher in the Daily Mail writing once again about Arsenal. This time he believes Arsenal are living under a certain illusion of their team being great again. No, Arsenal aren’t great yet, he avers. If they want to be great again they must buy players.

So, next season he suggests Arsenal buy Petr Cech for Ospina, one more defender to back up Koscielny and Gabriel. Paul Pogba or Diego Godin to back up Coquelin. Then strikers in to take over from Olivier Giroud. He suggests; Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero or Karim Benzema.

After reading that piece, I understand once again, the crappiness of English football commentators. Often, so prescriptive and aloof. For a team whose foundation was laid on youth bought early or trained within the club, Arsenal would never be good enough. Szczesny, Gibbs, Bellerin, Wilshere, Ramsey, Coquelin, Walcott, Gnabry are never good and will never be good. Because they started young at Arsenal. So Arsenal becomes the most underrated team in Europe.

Truly, as far as these commentators are concerned, the only way Arsenal will ever be good is when Arsenal bought all the players in Europe. I really don’t understand how these analysts think. What Coquelin and Bellerin’s form this season showed us is that many young players who are not given chance to play are even far more talented than the so-called great players playing excellently in ‘average’ clubs. Remember they made the Arsenal team only because our ‘regulars’ were injured and became unavailable, forcing Wenger’s hand. They have played against expensively assembled Manchester clubs, and we saw who won the battle.

Buy, buy, buy. That was how two seasons ago, Tottenham ,after selling Gareth Bale, went all the way and got in a full barn of unbelievably poor squad; same as Liverpool last season, and they are crumbling like a pack of cards. Those players in Tottenham and Liverpool, the English press made endless hype of them during the transfer period. Many commentators trolled Wenger endlessly for not buying some of them. I can’t remember how many in the English press that went so hard on Arsene for allowing Ballotelli slip through his fingers. No one is now talking about Falcao. But who will forget what the English press wrote the day Falcao went to Manchester United and Wellbeck to Arsenal?

Truly, Arsenal need consolidation, but surely not to go chasing all these players mentioned by Carragher — some who are not even available and some who are not as good as the players in Arsenal. Imagine asking Cech to replace Ospina. Cech is a good player, yes, but one who sat a whole season on the bench. Ospina played 12 times in league games and kept 6 clean sheets. Even Arsenal’s third choice goalkeeper had kept goal in a Champion’s league match. He was on form and did very well when Arsenal defeated Dortmund away. Ssceszny may not be fantastic, but he is above average anywhere in the world. And at Arsenal he is now second choice. Not even the first.

Arsenal’s defence is complete. Let me tell you how; because any one more ‘super star’ you buy will presume he must be given a starter’s shirt. Kolscieny is already fantastic, Gabriel is new, and the way Gabriel has played, everyone is sure he is a quality player who can hold his own against any team. Mertersaker is slow, but he is one of the most intelligent defenders in the game, and he makes up with his intelligent positioning and ball sense. I can’t remember when last Arsenal lost a game and it was blamed on Mert being too slow. And there is young Chambers who can only grow into his game. Apart from them, Debuchy and Monreal are utilities who can play at the centre as well. With all these players on ground you go and hire another defender just because you have to buy?

Yes, Coquelin needs back up. But did I hear you say Pogba? No doubt a quality player, but Pogba is not what Arsenal needs. Arsenal is not looking for a box to box. So if anybody Schneiderlin is best fit if he is available. Meanwhile, I don’t know why a fit Arteta is not a back-up, as Carragher says. He is slower and getting old, but he is no less a quality player. He can play in low profile games while Le Coq plays in big games. Meanwhile there is a certain Bielik who had played in Europa league before coming to Arsenal who will fancy his chance to play in the first team from next season.

Attack. Yes Arsenal needs support for Giroud. Someone who could score goals if Giroud is not available. That and no more. Otherwise, our creative side is full to brim: this is a team in which Walcott, Gnabry, Rosicky and Wilshere, cannot yet get a start. And even the Ox, if he returns, will wonder if he was not missed.

The biggest danger of assembling an expensive squad of presumed super stars is competition. Keeping everyone happy is a challenge. Every week you have to alter the team to make someone who did not play last week happy. Because, despite not being good enough, all of them would still fancy to play week in week out. Yet, like in Manchester City they keep messing up in big games. Is it any coincidence that the resurgence of Manchester United came with the likes of Mata, Young and Felliani permanently replacing expensive purchases who were flopping big time.

Over the years, Arsenal’s problem has always been balance. Each season Wenger always left one side of the team weak, and it becomes our Achilles’ heel through the season. This season, the deep midfield was going to be that until luckily Coquelin came to the rescue. So, what we have now is the most balanced squad in the last ten years. And you can see it from the way the team play. Maybe not excessively talented compared to the Invincibles, but no less a talented squad that can confidently play any team in today’s game.

So if you ask me what Arsenal need now is only two players — a defensive midfielder and top striker — plus, now the caveat, any other player(s) of pure class like Ozil and Sanchez who suddenly become available in the transfer market. Yes, that and no more.

Okeke Izuchukwu

Arsenal v Chelsea Predict the Score Competition
Tags Cech Pogba Suarez


  1. Definitely in the need of 1 new player, a CM/DM (preferably a player who can fill both roles, like Schneiderlin) and a center-back. Then you have the debate of replacing aging/leaving players (Mertesacker, Koscielny, Rosicky, Podolski, maybe Walcott) so there will be the need for 1 or 2 more plus we have Gnabry coming in the senior squad next season.

    1. If we want to send a message, for me it’s 4 placements.
      W. Szczesney -> P. Cech
      C. Chambers (Loan) -> H. Moreno
      M. Flamini -> Wanyama
      Y. Sanogo -> Lacazette

      Then you have two teams looking something like this:

      Debuchy – Gabriel – Koscielny – Monreal
      Coquelin – Ramsey
      Walcott – Ozil – Alexis

      Bellerin – Mertesacker – Moreno – Gibbs
      Wanyama – Wilshere
      Chamberlain – Cazorla – Welbeck

      Then you have squad players like Martinez, Jenkinson, Hayden, Arteta, Rosicky, Gnabry, Wellington Silva and Akpom who can be called upon incase of injury.

      For me, next season is the make or break one. Wenger can’t go into it second fiddle, he either goes hard or goes home. You want to take it to Mourinho? Show him.

  2. we need 4 players.

    petr cech
    fabian schar
    geoffery kondobia and
    alexandre lacazette

    (seems man united are not messing about, mempis depay and ilkay gundogan- bloody hell)

    1. I like the way you think. I’m happy with Schneiderlin and Dybala but would prefer Kondogbia and lacazette

      Dude, if we got those players I’d be in heaven.
      Seriously, if we just got Kondogbia and lacazette that would be enough to seriously challenge for the title.

      But Cech would give us a WC keeper and Ospina can still be used as sub and FA cup/League cup

      Schar would always be needed with our injuries
      We can either make chambers concentrate on DM or loan him for more experience

      Also, if Walcott leaves, I would get Reus

      Anyway, I’m all for getting those players

    2. United aren’t messing about because they’re f#cking dross mate. They need about 8 players.

      No way do we NEED 4 players. 2 quality additions and we’re set-up squad wise:
      DM who can play a’la Schneiderlin
      ST/F9 depending where Welbz future lies, either a Higuain or a Sterling type.

      GK is not a need unless Szczes is off or Cech is an easy grab, CB is not a need at all unless we sell Per.

  3. Ospina is doing great, if Sczezny stays, then we dont need a keeper. Chambers will provide cover for CB but if we get another “Gabriel” he’s welcome. Get a cover for Coquelin and a lethal striker.

    1. Don’t forget Martinez – out on loan getting playing time and getting rave reviews. Only 22 and bags of potential.

    1. I am not sure why this comment has so many thumb downs.These two players wld be wonderful.One proven and EPL experienced the other young and fast .no bank breaking

      1. Clearly if we are playing Ramsey on the right wing ahead of Walcott and wellbeck we are short of a world class attacking options … Friends who watch serie a each week rate dyabala very highly so an obvious choice ….schneiderlin vs kondogbia vs Carvalho any will do and needed arteta and flamini can go …defensively I still don’t think left back is sorted Monreal has definitely improved this year while Gibbs regressed ….neither are world class but Would only take someone of top quality if available milan had a good youngster a season ago but haven’t followed

  4. …..Good article….. English pundits are so funny…. All they know is buy,buy,buy..nothing more…..We have a complete team now…..Players fighting for their positions…. Hell,even Walcott is defending.. watch the last fa cup we played ,he came in and defended and not the usual care free manner he does… this is what quality competition brings and not just buying any player hyped by the media…Giroud is presently one of the deadliest strikers in Europe… We have Sanchez, Walcott ,even Welbeck, why else is a striker needed.. to sit on the bench??…Coquelin needs a backup…not a rival……For now,we are complete and balanced. and by next season,all this pundits will eat their words as they have always done.

    1. Agree, it is as if all pundits and experts have no imagination and/or short memories – if in doubt buy. If it fails buy again. I like Wenger’s considered and varied purchases of the last 2 years. Ozil was a slow-burner but looks like it may be paying dividends now, Alexis a colossally good buy, nuff said. Chambers and Welbeck young English players – good squad options and both have made positive contributions without tearing up trees, but will develop well imo. Half term reports on Ospina and Gab – very promising but we need to see them both over a longer stretch. Bielik – a gem for the future? Looks like an astute buy.

      Compare that with the transfer mayhem at United (basically back to a Moyes/SAF team now), Pool and Spuds. Chelsea have done well with Costa and Fabregas but Fab’s half-season traits have re-emerged and Costa has more injury concerns that you would like. Luis and Cuadrado – nothing to report really. Cuadrado a very strange one for me – I guarantee you Mou would prefer to have Schurrle or De Bruyne as a bench option in the title run-in. As far as we are concerned I am expecting another top of the range, class name, a relative unknown with big potential and a young English utility player, perhaps Mings or similar. Be surprised if there is more than 3 out and 3 in.

  5. How many players we need to buy actually depends on how many we sell. If we sell szcesny we sure need a top goalie. I hav always wished for lloris even before he joined spurs and I always think y we don’t go for begovic. In defence if meet leaves we surely need a top class cb , one to compete wid Gabriel while koss is d obvious starter. In cdm we surely need a top player. If coq gets injured d balance of our team breaks completely. We need to buy left footed winger who will compete wid sanchez also it will allow Sanchez to play as striker wid good cover at left wing. Or we cud just buy a striker instead. We hav spent well over 2 seasons and we must not rest here.
    Ps. All d players dat we need are actually available ind epl and Dey cost cheaper den foreign players! Cech lloris fonte williams schniederlein wanyama CHARLIE AUSTIN.
    Pps. Manutd and Chelsea hav bought players from within d league such as vandersaar Ferdinand Rooney young Valencia fellaini lampard cole(Chelsea bought him from us !) Gary Cahill etc etc.

  6. Oh please its not new, english pundits keeps slamming AW and the team..I say we focus on ourselves, pay less attention to the dickheads who will always criticize us no matter what

  7. I don’t think we’re far Away we’ve got the best squad we’ve had for years. We certainly don’t need any average players whoever comes in needs to be top quality to push us one even further.

    I’d say if we don’t have any long term injuries going into next season 2 players 3 if Wenger decides to get another keeper. A forward & a DM/CM.

    Pretty gutted if Man U get Gundogan not too many players I think are better than him.

    1. gundogan they essentially got for half price as hes into last year of his contract and his fitness is questionable.

      but if he gets back to player he was before injury,
      this is man uniteds best signing since rooney- absolutely brilliant player

  8. our system is soo built on OG. not sure what striker will fit. if we want something different, i am a fan of a vargas style poacher. but can someone like that lead the line in our system? even a dybala (that everyone has been craving) – think if it fits, guys.

    kondogbia is the beast we need.

  9. Honestly speaking,if we were to assume that our rival clubs(City,United,Chelsea,Spuds,Liverpool…and even our uefa one’s) won’t reinforce their squads then i would say we need two players…but we all know they are going to buy like crazy.
    So to compete we need 3-4 additions.
    DM- Wanyama
    maybe GK-Cech/Lloris

  10. Arsenal need the players
    we have to be fully fit and
    play to their potential
    30+ games a season.
    Arsenal only need to buy
    another DM.

  11. d sad truth is that Wenger may not buy a pure DCM next summer cos we have chambers beilik and diaby and arteta and even wilshere won’t leave. but I suspect he may buy a DF who can also play DM so that’s y I take d carvalho rumour serious

  12. Cech, Schneiderlin and a top striker would do us, anything else would be a much appreciated bonus. I’d personally cash in on Wilshere and Walcott; both are injury-prone and only turn up in big games.

    1. I would cool off on the top striker for now.I keep going back to Dybala.Also i agree with you on Wilshere and walcott

  13. Well it depends…

    I think we probably need another striker, but Giroud has been great, do we replace him? Or do we get a backup? In which case, what happens to Welbeck?

    Perhaps another wonder if Walcott can’t get his career sorted out, but I really rate Ox. I think he can be an outstanding player, and I wouldn’t want to see his path blocked, and of course Alexis place in the team is unquestionable.

    Another CB? Well, for me, Mertesacker isn’t good enough anymore. He has good games, but as a CB the most important thing is consistency, and he’s let us down quite a few times this season. But I think Gabriel is a very good defender, so do we really need another? I think Mertesacker is good enough to be 3rd choice.

    We definately do need a DM to replace Flamini though, beyond any debate. I’d like us to get a big, powerhouse DM as a contrast to Coquelin, who’s a quicker, more agile player. That would mean we have either option available depending on the type of game.

    But would solely signing a DM get the team in shape? I think we need a marquee signing too, someone for the team and fans to get excited about and to freshen up our attack. Did Barca really need Suarez over Alexis? No. Did Real need James Rodriguez over Di Maria? Not really. You don’t always have to sign players because you’re lacking in that position, but because they give the team something new and prevent it from going stale – just look at Man City’s team. Great players, but nothing new really.. And they’ve suffered for it.

  14. If we are to seriously challenge for EPL and CL, we need to have quality strength in each position, to allow AW to rotate and to cover for inevitable injuries caused by number of games.
    But any players we buy have to be significantly better than what we’ve got – especially from winning mentality
    We’re now well set in most positions -but do need:
    – additional “calm” GK – Cech would be ideal, but doubt Chelski will sell to us.
    – another quality DM to support Le Coq in top games – e.g. Schneiderlin or Kondogbia
    – proven ST to backup Olivier, who won’t take a seaon to acclimatise to EPL – Charlie Austin?
    – and if there’s enough money left another CB to cover for Kos Achilles
    Plus we also need to blood younger players more regularly – Akpom, Gnabry, Ayden etc

    1. DS is looking less and less like the real deal as time passes. Had a great season last year but that was amidst a perfect storm for Liverpool. Played less than 30% of games for Pool this season – looks like a long-term and persistent injury risk and we have enough of those. And can’t help feeling that both City and Chelsea can’t be wrong in passing on him. Way too selfish for an Arsenal player imo.

  15. I love this debate…from my perspective our team is pretty much 90% well balanced.for a keeper I’d take lloris all day,everyday…defenders don’t seem to be that much of a priority now considering wev got Gabriel. I believe chambers should learn his trade as cb he has great presence and timing think he’s wasted as rb…hayden is in reserves and needs a callup as well.mert has another season with us as well,debuchy can fill in if push comes to le coq is doin great,though a backup is needed.dont see diaby gettn much chances next season and arteta might be used as a cm just to get game time…schniderlin would be good for competition and he’s not an out and out dm he’s basically playb a cm role for s’ton right now so he’d be great for rotation,kondogbia though,WORLDCLASS!!!…would like jack to partner le coq next season and see him gettn more game time,he had a brilliant season before injury.on the wings Alexis has nailed down his spot,chamberlain has basically got his nailed down wen he returns,gnabry and Walcott for backup,wellington silva might come through we can see how that goes…poldi and campbell out! giroud and welbeck as strikers though for the fans I say we search within the premier league for another leathal striker mayb even a benteke my starting lineup next season….
    Bench: Ospina,bellerin,chambers,coquellin,Ramsey,Walcott,wellbeck

  16. Players We Should Buy:

    1. Schneiderlin, Kongdobia, or Imbula

    2. Lacazette

    3. Schar preferably… if not Hector Moreno

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