Options for Arsenal’s Midfield and Defence after the Transfer Window

Options for Arsenal’s Midfield and Defence after the Transfer Window by Supertuur

Being an Arsenal fan on transfer day is a pretty stressful event. Fans would like to see the club buy a central defender, a defensive midfielder and a centre forward for the long term injured Giroud. There were initial talks of Falcao joining Arsenal but that was put to rest quickly when Manchester United closed the deal. Welbeck was the only purchase of the three positions that were needed.

There were a lot of central defenders we were linked to, but none of them materialised. I think various factors were at play here. First central defenders targeted wanted first team football at Arsenal which is hard when you have Koscielny and Mertesacker as the backbone of the defence. Arsenal are not a club wanting to overpay for players to sit on the bench. Take Alderweireld for example who moved from Atletico Madrid to Southampton, he will get first team football instead of sitting on the bench for Arsenal. The wages offered will be comparable. All other targets linked to us preferred first team football as well.

The holding midfielder position is more pressing for Arsenal and it is a shame we have not filled that position. In the end the amount of available players was not that large and only Carvalho was seriously targeted. Carvalho is partly owned by a third party which makes negotiations more difficult. The release clause was high for a player that only had one full season with Sporting Lisbon and 6 senior appearances for the Portugal national team. What the exact figures that Sporting Lisbon wanted I don’t know, but it was deemed too high for Wenger.

One other target we were linked with was young prima donna Rabiot from PSG, a 19 year old promising star who could play holding midfielder, although his defensive qualities needed to improve. He was also courted by Roma and Juventus but in the end none of the clubs including Arsenal got the deal. He has one more year left on his contract with PSG. We can see how he develops at PSG over the next year and pounce on him during the winter transfer or next summer transfer.

Central Defence Options
Arsenal’s full backs are covered well with Gibbs/Monreal on the left and Debuchi/Bellerin on the right. With Callum Chambers being an excellent 3rd Central defender we need to promote Isaac Hayden to be our 4th Central Defender. Hayden is one of our best prospects coming out of the youth academy. He made his first team debut at the Capital One cup last season against West Brom. He should be given more apps in this year’s Capital One Cup and FA Cup to be eased in more. Further down the line the academy has another exciting prospect in 17 year old Pleguezuelo.

Fans all seem to love Shaw and Chambers, and both are 19 years old. Southampton is great at developing talent because they give young players a chance in the first team. With a shortage of home grown talent in the Premier League, good players like this will command a premium as can be seen from price paid to Shaw and Chambers. Premier league clubs are only allowed to feature 17 players above 21 that are non home grown.

Another option tested by Wenger was using Monreal in the central defender position. The results were mixed and not something to rely on for the whole season on. I do think Monreal has stepped up this season and he is good providing crosses so he is good as a left back starter and back up. I am more concerned here with the frequent injuries of Gibbs and who will backup Monreal. Vermaelen did OK as a left back.

Holding Midfield Options
Both Arteta and Flamini are ageing and cannot be considered long term options for the holding midfield. Our options we have for this position are:

• Francis Coquelin – We have Francis Coquelin coming back from an unsuccessful loan spell at Freiburg where he almost played everywhere but holding midfield. At the academy he was once regarded as a better prospect than Wilshere. I have honestly no clue how well he is in this position but a loan move to QPR did not go through so he must have some value in Wenger’s opinion.

• Calum Chambers – Chambers is another prospect that could be introduced in holding midfield. However with the lack of proven CBs this is something I see not happen now. It is a position we can slowly introduce to him when both Mertesacker and Koscielny are playing.

• Jack Wilshere – Having Wilshere play here is talked about often but I see him more as a CAM or B2B player, he lacks the discipline and defensive qualities to make this position his own. If he does step up he will be another Arteta, a small holding midfielder with good ball skills but could be dispossessed of the ball quite easy.

• Abou Diaby – If we have Diaby fit long enough this could work although I think he is more a B2B player replacement for Ramsey. I doubt he is a long term prospect and I think Arsenal will let him go after this season when his contract expires.

• Oxlade Chamberlain – There is not one position the Ox has made his own. He has been used as B2B replacement of Ramsey and be used on left and right wing positions. I wish Wenger would make up his mind and nail a position for him. I don’t see him as a holding midfielder as he likes to go forward and he has lapses in his defence. He did play rugby at a younger age so he may have the steel we need as a holding midfielder.

• Gideon Zelalem – This is another B2B player with immense talent from our Academy. I do not see him as a holding midfielder though.

With Flamini and Arteta on contracts expiring next year we needed someone to make this position his own. I have listed 6 possible candidates and would like to see them tested at this position. I still think we need to buy someone for this position the coming winter transfer period.

Your Opinion
Now with the transfer window over I would love to hear your opinion. So no Wenger Out or AKB comments or what we should have bought. This is the squad we have till the winter transfer and we have to make the best of it.


Tags Arteta Coquelin Flamini rabiot


  1. Flamini is probably the best option but he gets at least a yellow everyother game, we basically really badly needed a cdm, more than a striker in my opinion! But i’m very pleased with the welbeck transfer and i think he will gel straight into the team

    1. Wenger Wenger arrogant Star,Up above the Board you are,Full of ego and less you are shy,Like a twat in the sky. How was the Poem?

    1. Newspapers seem to suggest Wilshere needs to own the holding midfield role if he wants a carreer at Arsenal. With Ozil only performing well in the CAM role and his mega price tag, I don’t know where else Wilshere will get regular team football if not for injuries of Ramsey or Ozil.

      What Wenger does now with fileding al the CAMs we have is not working.

  2. If we’d have signed a CB (a decent one is around 15 mils) and a CDM (same price) we would not give Chambers so much game time. It is an assumed risk. We buy a team player for so much money just to be a 4th option ?

    1. yeah, until Chambers gets injured while playing DM and we have even fewer CB options. Wenger could’ve solved this problem if he actually signed Sokratis, who can also play in both positions. It looks to me that he was planning on buying Javi Martinez but since he’s seriously injured there were few to no rumours for DM even.

      Now we only have 6 defenders Chambers hould ether play RB/CB or on the bench.

      1. By the same logic we can have all CB’s injured. Then what? Chambers will rotate quite a lot with Mert/Kos so he gets gametime. And I find this quite OK.

        1. That’s what I’m saying, would rather see him rotated in RB/CB than playing DM, where the injury risk is generally alot bigger. Also for his own development it’s better if he can focus on one particular role, playing him on DM might sound good but I don’t know if he’s already up for that; in my opinion he shouldn’t be pushed around.

    2. then why the heck we need a new striker by ur logic if we sign a new striker sanogo won’t get playing time & what about giroud similarly signing a new cdm then what happens to arteta (who we know can’t handle big teams in big games)

      eziquel garay went to zenit for 6m there were options available

      1. with all due respect, garay who?! i mean, we NEEEEEDED a CDM 100%. but, i’m not convinced there were sufficient options to fit our squad after assessing the window. i’m definitely a tad frustrated at the fact that we still have that gap, but i’m excited to see how our team fares if we can just stay healthy!

      2. You need a striker mainly because your usual striker is accidentally (pun intended) injured. That’s why. Other than that I have explained in another article why this goes perfectly with the plan at the Emirates. Suck it. And who the fsck is Garay? What does he do for a living?

  3. Holding mid: Flamini, Arteta, Diaby, Coquelin, Chambers
    Surging mid: Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox
    CAM: Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky, Zelalem

    RB: Debuchy, Bellerin, Chambers
    LB: Gibbs, Monreal, Flamini
    CB: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Chambers, Hayden

      1. He can be a disciplined enough player to play the holding role if thats whats required of him and he’ll generally bring a lot of physicality to our midfield which we’ve lacked for a bit. I just don’t know how he will perceive going into the tackles, knowing his perennial injury issues, but i really hope and pray he can overcome that and shine like RVP did. Diaby deserve it as a person whether its with Arsenal or anywhere (in the event he can’t assert himself this season and have to leave) I will forever wish Abou well, he is such an unlucky but cool dude.

  4. playing chambers as a DMF would be like playing 5 defenders at the back, but we need the right balance of attack and defense so best play the ramsey-arteta double pivot. Also Chambers and Per partnership is terrible! per is made to look like fool whenever they play together.
    Kos6 and chambers should be played against city’s aguero and dzekko but arsene will feel otherwise.

  5. I think we must stick with flamini, Arteta and Chambers as third choice until Jan and then we must buy a proper DM…carvalho or schniderlin will work….

      1. It’s asking for an injury crisis, Wenger will be looking for a kallstrom-kind of signing in January if something goes wrong with one of our CB’s or DM’s (CM’s) again. Carvalho type of transfer is indeed not gonna happen in January.

        1. The injury crisis will happen unfortunately..its just a question of when.It happens EVERY single year.And then they will say we could have won the league had it not been for injuries.As if they didnt see it coming

  6. For all the talks of Joel Campbell not getting game time and should go out on loan-

    1. When he signed for us, he didn’t get a work permit till April 2014. So despite signing for us in 2011, he doesn’t know the squad or as i like to put it The Arsenal way.

    2. He has featured for us in 3 games out of 6.(including C.S. Cup). Out of this six, in two games we had red cards(Besiktas home and away) which instantly spoiled his chances of getting on as a super sub. This indicates he is slowly being eased in.

    3. Wenger has said it many a times that Joel features in his plans and was evident from the fact when he came on against Everton when we were 2-0 down.

    4. He is only 22. And just had a great world cup and as Davidnz would put it, you don’t judge a player in a tournament where there is a yellow for one tiny-winy wrong tackle. Also to note he had 8 goals from 32 games for Olympiakos as a CF mainly.

    5. The stories of the loan move are being reported by Mirror, Express, Metro. So forgive me if i dont believe them.(I have my reasons).

    Joel Campbell is a very nice prospect. And would get his fair share of chances given our injury record. But if he does a Lukaku and wants to feature before Sanchez and Walcott, than that would be stupid, and i never believe that.

    He just needs to sit tight, and sack is greedy azz agent.

      1. Aren’t you being a bit comical by replying to my post with something that has no relevance?

        Actually as i see you have been making this ridiculous comments for no reason what so ever, through out this post. So be it.

        But meant to ask. Is it everyday occurrence or today is a bit special?

  7. We shouldn’t be talking about the January window. Wenger has had more than enough summer time to approach this now perennial problem. For me Mertesacker is both fragile and vulnerable. Any C.B. candidates must be assured that they do have a real chance to claim a regular place. Also we shouldn’t be sifting through existing staff for our C.D.M. It’s obvious there is no one. If Wenger hasn’t addressed these issues now why should he in January? The problems exist but our manager refuses to acknowledge them. We should have gone for the Lisbon boy. I get the feeling that Wenger’s penny pinching has left him feeling unwanted. Next year he’ll be way out of orbit for us. I am amazed that our Directors and have not taken him to task for not doing his job, not keeping his promises, and going A.W,O.L. on the last day.

    1. Well said brother, couldn’t agree more. The only problem is that there really was no CDs available this transfer window that were better than Per. It was wrong to sell Vermaelen, when in form he had a great partnership with Kos.
      We should have bought a young powerful DM. We have had this issue for years, and there are good players out here who are obvious upgrades to what we have.

  8. Defence:
    Two players for each position?
    RB- Debuchy, Bellerin.
    LB- Monreal, Gibbs.
    CB- Mert, Koscielny, Chambers, Hayden.

    1. Pre season and CS Monreal did a pretty job at defending as a CB*.
    2. Flamini can do a nice job at LB if need rise.
    3. Debuchy actually started his career as a DM(i m sure many didn’t know this. Its okay. Say thank you later on 😉 .) and can do a job at the centre. So playing CB for a game or two against will not do any harm against lower mid-table team like United.

    *Kolo Toure was a CM when he joined Arsenal before Wenger played him at CB at Arsenal.

    1. yeah FYI we were the only team that didn’t david moyes utd last season & this season with van gaal & their sigings u think we have a chance loooooool

      we have 50+ games to play & already some players are out if per/kos gets injure we are fu*ked 4 sure esp against stoke & other physical clubs moreal may have been good but it’s not enough 4th place for me this season

  9. All this crap on here and no one being honest.

    We will not even be on top of the EPL this season let alone win it.
    Sorry arsenal fans I’m saying it as you are all thinking it

    1. It depend’s on wenger:

      Ozil LW =No Walcott because of alexis taking RW
      Ozil CAM= We can Have both Sanchez and walcott starting games in the wings and welbeck centrally.

  10. You know, one of the reasons I was hoping for another defender and maybe a CDM was due to us playing a long season in 4 competitions. We have also sent Jenkinson and Miquel on loan.

    Chambers could have tried his hand in midfield at CDM, but I think he will be busy in CD because I don’t expect Koscielny and Mertsacker to be completely healthy all season and play in all 4 competitions.

    Another thing, for us a variety of talented players is not always 100% perfect because sometimes Wenger gets it spot on and sometimes he puts players in wrong places, like Ozil on the wing or Arteta and Flamini together or Sanogo up front instead of Sanchez and things like that.

    Welbeck can play on wing and up front
    Sanchez can play on wing and up front
    Walcott same as above.

    Anyway my suggestion would be whoever is on form. (Except defense because few options)

    Debuchy…Mertsacker…Koscielny. Gibbs

    Bench: Ospina, monreal, chambers, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Ox, Cazorla, Sanogo

    If Wenger wants Sanchez up front we have several players who can play on wing, but I assume by getting Welbeck he wants keep Sanchez on wing.

    I believe we should only use Cazorla in the middle so should be on bench.

  11. Realistically we will struggle to finish 4th again this year. I don’t know how good Spurs are going to be, Everton, Manu and Liverpool are there as well.
    I don’t know if we have what it takes to make it.

  12. had enough of you lot…supposed Arsenal fans..leaving this site for good. I take peace knowng you’re not the mainstream. best of luck in your lah-lah land kids

  13. Mario Yepes and Diego Lugano are free agents!!
    Mario had a fantastic Worl Cup. They are old but very experienced defenders, one of them would provide great cover as 4th choice CB and also maybe allow Chambers to be used as a DM.

    I am sure they will come for 20-30K per week wages.

    Its a 1M-1.5M punt, even if they only play just a few games they will give us peace of mind and if one of our CBs really gets hurt, well then they will provide experienced cover.

  14. Next season / Winter transfer we will have a big clear out.

    Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Coquelin contract expiring.
    Podolski very likely to go with only 1 year left on his contract.
    Carzola might go with only 1 year left on his contract.

    Possible loan decisions for Campbell, Sanogo or Gnabry.

    This Winter transfer we need to prepare some signings already for that.

  15. “The clubs that showed an interest in him (i.e. Falcao) were Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal at the last minute,” Garcia said.

    At the last minute?! Did he say at the last minute??!!

    Does anyone still need further proof that there’s something fundamentally flawed with the Transfer Department at Arsenal Football Club? SMH.

    1. Actually that was very smart. That was the reason Utd signed Falcao AFTER the window closed. We were never in for Falcao (no sane person would pay 20 mils for a year loan unless you are really desperate). We moved away from Utd path for getting Falcao, they sold Welbeck to us on a permanent deal. I still think we won by a mile.

  16. Somebody please tell Wenger Yepes is available for free!!!! The guy was a beast in the World Cup, brings a ton of experience, and will provide GREAT cover.

  17. I like the line up with wilcott and Sanchez in wing with Welbeck in St.

    When we play city we must press well and counter with speed, often we are slow on counter and pass pass pass when we reach box.

    Need what we had at Norwich last year

  18. With Sanchez on LW will will be si much better in attack and defence for sure.

    Just one change like that will totally change our team for the good

  19. We now have genuine pace across our whole front line- Teams dare not play high line against us, which may give us more control in the middle if park, and more possession-

    But possession doesn’t win games, and we are going to have to learn to really move other teams defenders around to create the space we need for that killer pace or move-

    Many teams will rely on counter attack, and I’m sorry to say that Mertesacker is too slow, and makes too vulnerable! Fact.

    Know you’ll disagree- but want Chambers to be starter CB- then opposition can’t just hoof a ball over top to cause us problems

  20. I am right here you retard. Still waiting for you to answer. Unlike you I have one account on this sorry board, the most pessimistic by a mile among all gooners blogs. So, who is Cerci, what does he do when he’s not sleeping?

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