What can we expect from Arsenal next season and who are you excited about? by Gurjit
It may be a little early to say as our transfer business is yet to be completed, but I’m pleased to say the optimist in me is out, though this time with more confidence in our team and management for the season ahead.
Realistically this is not drastically different to last season, as despite a poor end to the previous season we had shown some promise and made some exciting moves in the transfer market – there are however a couple of big differences; not the results themselves but how we are getting them, and an increased clarity in where the power of bringing players into the club lies. With the ousting of Raul there appears to be a clear direction from Edu and Arteta which will hopefully, given a strong working relationship between the two, should address problems within the squad in areas that are weak and cannot be improved by Arteta’s coaching of existing players alone. Arteta’s coaching is one thing that has really surprised me as we have seen more of our players at a higher standard than they often perform and on a much more consistent basis.
This brings me on to some (there are others) of our players that I am interested to see for the upcoming season (if they do indeed remain):
Maitland-Niles: There have been links to him moving in this window but this may well be dying down and will be extremely unlikely should Bellerin depart. He ended last season very strong and although it would be nice to see him get a chances in midfield I think this will be unlikely. Whether the lad likes it or not, in our squad he will most likely always be a full back – but that’s not to say he can’t flourish there. We’ve seen him perform excellently down that side and I would love to see him move more into the midfield when we have possession of the ball in the way we have seen fullbacks play for certain other managers.
Xhaka: My belief is that Xhaka will be integral to our midfield next season though this of course remains to be seen. Should we sign Partey I would expect him to slot in alongside him and allow Xhaka a role in which he can dictate play from deep. This will remain to be seen given his history with the club but I think he has more to give and that the level he is at now is not his roof.
Saliba: I think any fan who thinks that he’s suddenly going to be a starter and consistent performer is being a little too optimistic. That however is exactly the reason he will be one to keep an eye on next season as he is rather young, inexperienced and new to a very tough league. Its likely he will pay a part in cup games and, if he does well, to be playing in the league towards the second half of the season.
Nketiah: We saw last season that he could keep Lacazette out of the team and really that’s all I want from him at this stage. Hes shown that he can score goals and he works tirelessly and that kind of competition in out strikers is fantasic.
Martinelli: Of everyone I’ve mentioned, and those that I haven’t, Martinelli is by far the most exciting prospect for next season. Great on the ball, fast and with an eye for goal. I could see this kid being a replacement for Auba at some point in his career. Hopefully it won’t be too long before he is match fit again, but he will get a chance in group stage Europa games and cup ties. I’d love to see him take that chance again and work his way into our league squad.
Who are you most excited about?