Should Arsenal shake things up and play Bukayo Saka as our Number 9?

I know some Arsenal fans who will be upset if this transfer window ends without them buying a striker. But the truth is that there is a chance they will not splurge cash this winter owing to FFP limitations, so acquiring a marquee striker may be uncertain.

Having stated that, while it is likely that a striker will be signed, how will Mikel Arteta re-ignite the spark in his attack if he is not? There have been suggestions that he use Havertz as his regular No9, but while we wait to see if that is the path the Arsenal manager will pursue, there is another intriguing suggestion for him to consider: why not play Saka as the striker?

Saka is flexible and could possibly succeed as a striker, according to ex-Fulham star Leroy Rosenior, because he has already dazzled playing in diverse positions such as left back and right winger.

“You know you are talking about your Jesus’s and Nketiah’s not being good enough,” said Rosenior on PLP. “What about Saka? Why not play him up front?

“Liverpool play Salah up front sometimes. I would try it. He is that good. He has played left-back; he has played right and left. Play him up front and see how he does.

“Jesus and Nketiah obviously aren’t good enough to take Arsenal where they want to be.”

Cristiano Ronaldo began as a winger, but look what a fantastic striker he eventually became. I suppose Saka can follow in his footsteps, but in order for him to do so, Arteta may attempt him in the role every now and then; who knows, it could be a tactical experiment that works if a top striker isn’t bought. S

Saka scored 14 goals in 38 games last season, and he has 6 goals in 19 games this season. The 22-year-old has goals in him, and he may be worth filling in as a striker and letting Jesus return to his old position as winger?

Darren N

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  1. If GabJ & Eddie are not “good enough”, then dump them or dispose him. And who signed them? Arteta! which proves that Arteta is not “good enough” too. But will Arteta play Gab J wide? No chance. He’d prefer relegation than disrupt his favorites’ positions.

  2. Arteta may come across as a fairly intelligent man, but in terms of football Management he clearly lacks the imagination or nous to recognise the flexibility he has available to him up front.By that I mean he sticks rigidly to the tactic he learned from his mentor in Manchester to play with two inverted wingers come hell or high water.To me ,Saka is a natural left winger ,Jesus a right winger and Martinelli looks more at home through the middle particularly on the counter attack as he demonstrated against Chelsea over two seasons ago.Given our lack of goals I would have thought positional tweaks would have been tried in training behind closed doors, but evidently that has not happened as our first choice wingers rarely venture off their appointed flanks making them relatively easy to mark and double up on.The match against Liverpool to me is a great opportunity for our Manager to try”something different” to at least complicate matters for the opposition.As it is,and I hope I am proved wrong,I am expecting more of the same rigidity we have seen this season..

  3. We need A STRIKER….no SAKA is not the answer. We are Plan A obsessed… sideways Sadies, boring, juiceless, bores. If Arteta is creatively good enough….fix it. Sign who we need or we will fester. We have been found out. This isn’t good enough Mikel.

  4. We need a striker. Buy Guirassy at once. He has proven himself in Germany which is a better league than Belgium where we are linked with Ferdi.
    Niehter Toney nor Solake is attainable.

    The better stop gap option is to strengthen the backline and the midfield with players of the calibre of Partey and Xhaka. Their absence is the simple reason our attackers are fading away.

  5. Saka is strong enough to hold the opposing team’s LB off, but I highly doubt he can play with his back to goal against the big CBs of top EPL teams

    Better sign a big CF who can play as Haaland and Vlahovic did

    1. @Gai, isn’t it obvious the fans are beginning to want more than Jesus offers because of the competitive and physicality of Epl? Good play making aren’t enough to get you goals. Arsenal are creating chances yet without enough goals. We are also taking a proper advantage of our many corner kicks in some games.

      As per Bukayo playing as a CF my answer is a capital NO. He will never do better than Nkethia. If Nkethia has height and stamina he would be one of the best Epl goal pocher.

      1. Jesus and Nketiah are simply too weak sometimes. They’re great for some games, but I think we need another CF type for the rest of the games

  6. I will speak without irony and anger today.In the first stage I will agree with such a venture.Why?Very simply watching football for years.So Arteta should enrich more plan the operation of the team…that is, it is not possible to simply play one-dimensionally, and from the moment the opponents have read you, not have another plan to throw into the game It is not possible to have players like Martinelli, Saka, Jesus, and have taught them a style of play and nothing else, and now all of them are exposed in every match, because now they have become the joy of opposing defenders. It’s just not possible. What I don’t know is if any such thought has ever crossed Arteta’s mind…or if he thinks that Arteta is reading the reports and that maybe be affected by them. Probably not at all. However if we assume that this one-dimensional style of play can pay off again by switching some players, then I’m all for it. What worse to happen, maybe a change of position will help the psychology, a shuffling of the deck with internal changes. The haverge we were saying could start in his natural position area forward, we called it, we read it, we heard it… and the kid showed that he has the goal, especially when he is inside the box.on one wing, and Jesus on the other, what will change? How will goals be scored? Since again the development plan is only from the sides, without even once having to show something from the center and from the front again in theory it won’t be the same? Then with this system, doesn’t it leave our backs open? only Rice as a cutter, when the ball is lost, which is lost many times, Rice alone can block? The Fullback who has stepped up to help the center will have left his side open, and it will take a lot of running and intelligence to cover the gaps Mind you, that’s why we lose having the illusion that we stepped on them and in two or three counterattacks they conceded a goal. Wrong, there is depth to it. We defend many times under great confusion, and It is also a big mistake for the opponents to mark tall stoppers, shorter players. In conclusion, this system that Arteta plays can do great things, the extreme backs are enough, and the Your midfielders, they must be of the highest level and able to do things. Otherwise, with the ones we have, we should go to a more restrained A more realistic formation, with players in their natural position and not guinea pigs….However, I wrote all this, nothing, just in case someone reads it, and Arteta is still in the World of Marlboro

  7. No I wouldn’t start him as a central striker (I’ve always thought he could be a brilliant cm tbh) but we do need to work on playing Saka and martinelli inside more often – more darting inside runs are needed from both of them. We’re settling into patterns where Saka waits to receive the ball on the wing and tries to work his way until central positions and martinelli waits and runs down the wing. It’s too predictable.

  8. I would play Martinelli as a striker. His movement, runs into channels, and a better finisher than Jesus or Nketiah.

    Or Havertz as a striker and ESR in the midfield.

    We need something different. A slight tweak may be enough without wholesale changes.

    Not a fan of outrageous selections and daft re-positioning.

    Remember Partey at RB? Benching Gabriel for 3rd choice CB White? That grotesque setup was so absurd that Arteta shelved it in short order.

    No more gambles and absurd setups please. Manager should change tactics rather than setting up absurd formations for similar tactics.

  9. Saka is a proven goal scorer, but most of his goals have come from that signature shot from the left hand corner of the penalty box, from hitting near post winners and penalties. I’m not suggesting that he couldn’t play through the middle in a conventional manner, but I’m doubtful. Martinelli is better at this.

  10. All these because we lost two PL games!
    I didn’t read all these ridiculous suggestions when we were topping the table.
    Calm down already guys.

  11. I think the problem is we are too static, if we are fluid like Liverpool on the pitch, we would score more,

    Our lack of muscle in the midfield is the reason we are too careful, if Partey were available. I’m sure we would unleash Rice, Odegaard needs to add muscle, and he needs to reinvent his passes, his short passes have confined him to RW.

    As for the winter transfer, I think we need a proven CDM and versatile defender, Havertz can play upfront till summer.

  12. If we were creating clear-cut chances ie sitters and Saka was on the end of the majority then yes I think he would do quite well. But Saka is our most creative player so he is needed elsewhere.

    What I would like to see is Saka and Marti coming inside more often closer to the striker making little-darted runs and I would like if they had the freedom to reach the opposite side of the pitch to work with the forwards over there creating some overloads in our favor for a change. Arteta should look at what Liv and City do if or when their wingers have too many bodies in front of them. Also, it might be a good idea to lean on some of Wenger’s old training methods because one thing that jumps to mind with his tactics is the word fluid, so maybe just borrow the passing and the final third training methods No shame in borrowing tactics esp from those folk

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