Pundit analyses Arsenal’s attacking dilemma

Arsenal has had an abundance of players and every time the squad was discussed several options popped up for every position.

Mikel Arteta has gotten rid of some deadwood in his squad, but he seems to still have more than enough attacking options.

Alexandre Lacazette, Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Bukayo Saka are all looking to be selected for the preferred front-three.

Aubameyang looks a certainty to start alongside Saka and the in-form Pepe nowadays.

But that leaves the likes of Martinelli on the Arsenal bench, even though he is also a fine player and has always proven his worth.

Mikel Arteta angered some fans when he benched Lacazette for the game against Leeds and Sky Sports has now discussed the dilemma that the Spaniard is facing at the Emirates.

Roger Clarke on the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review show says the Spaniard should keep Balogun instead of Nketiah among other decisions he thinks is right.

He said: “I’m not sure Mikel Arteta quite knows at the moment. If it is going to be the case that Aubameyang plays down the middle, who fills the other two flanks? We’re talking about more experienced players in Aubameyang and Lacazette, and the rest are relatively unproven, but look like decent prospects. It’s about how Arsenal find the balance.

“Regarding Lacazette, going into his 30s and into the final year of his contract, you think that if there is going to be a sacrifice, and Arsenal trim the squad, it will be Lacazette making way. What does that mean to the rest of Arsenal’s front line?

“If Aubameyang doesn’t play down the left, maybe Nicolas Pepe occupies that role. He is in decent form, but Arteta is still trying to work it out. A lot of people have high hopes for Martinelli, but he’s had his injuries. Can you put your money on him being at the club for the long term?

“Regarding Folarin Balogun, this is a name that keeps coming up – they’ve been having talks supposedly since November, and Arsenal keep saying he wants to stay, and they want to keep him – but we’ve had no movement there, and there is reportedly plenty of interest from other clubs.

“He is the man I think they need to tie down. Nketiah hasn’t really made the place his own – he comes in and out, plays cup games, but he probably isn’t the guy Arsenal win pin their hopes on going forward.

“I think Aubameyang and Pepe will be a part of that front three going forward, and a battle between the other young players. Who will stake their claim? Some big decisions for Arteta to make in the coming months.

“I know some people aren’t convinced by Nicolas Pepe, but we put a lot of pressure on big-money signings, they come into a different team, a different culture, and expect them to hit the ground running. Does he deserve a bit more time to find his feet? Because he has shown glimpses.

“Because they had so many issues with players going into their final year of their contract, they had a policy not so long ago where they were not going to let players go into the two years of their contract. That seems to have gone out of the window.”

Tags Arsenal attackers


  1. If arsenal intend to play a quick passing game with lots of run from forwards then a front 3 of aubameyang, saka, pepe/martenelli is the best combo with all 3 being fast and regularly make runs behind the defence. Lacazette is better suited for a possession playstyle with his hold-up play and ability to draw fouls.

    Nketiah needs to be loan or sold, willian is useless right now but unsalable with his wage. balogun can F**k off with his leech/agent, we are ARSENAL we don’t bend over for unproven talent who haven’t accomplished anything.

  2. With respect to Roger Clarke, Auba and Saka are the shoe ins for the front three , not Pepe nor Willian who could become another Ozil in view of the ludicrous terms of his contract.With Martinelli and Nelson capable of playing wide on either side, we do not need another winger.Despite his talent we should not be held to ransom by Balogun but there are good grounds for selling Nketiah and Lacazette.That being the case another central striker would be needed to back up Auba with a view to taking over from him in a season or two.Who that could be is a matter for further debate on JA.Any suggestions from the EPL or the Championship?

  3. We don’t need to buy a striker, we have Auba and Pepe, Saka and Martinell are flourishing, give Balogun a new contract he’s better off than having Willian who is a flop, sell Laca and Nketiah, we need that money to buy a creative midfielder.

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