The 5 Arsenal players I’m most excited about for this season – Who are yours?

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?

Gurjit

85 Comments

  1. Collins says:

    Great article! Admin Pat

    1. Admin Pat says:

      I agree, but I didn’t write it!
      Thanks to Gurjit….

  2. Richard Banyard says:

    Pete
    Gabriel
    Sara
    Tierney
    Partey ( hopefully )
    My 5 lookouts

    1. Rory johnson says:

      Havertz, chillwell, hiyech, silva, werner….

      1. Gogo says:

        As good as the Chelsea squad arsenal will do better.

  3. Crispen says:

    I hope, and think that Xhaka will leave. He is way too slow on defensive recovery. If the two Madrid teams cooperate
    Then I am sure he will be on his way ut. We won’t need him.

    1. Bob says:

      My eyes for our player this year will be:
      1. Saka. He performed well as a young diamond. This year we will see his progress whether he can maintain his form through season or not. By the end of season, I hope everyone sees him as an established senior player.

      2. Smith Rowe. I hope to see him controlling our midfield for years to come. Tight competition in the middle has made him left for loan. I hope he can rise this year and establish his name as first choice player by the end of the season.

      3. Guendouzi. Hold your gun everyone! I know his future is up in the air. Yet, It is hard for me to forget how beautiful his long pass is (that assist to Aubameyang, though), his relentless run through the field, and his defense toward his teammate. He has attitude issue, probably but he plays for the badge. Long before arteta came. I hope to see him raise under arteta guidance. But only those two knows what is next.

      4. Martinelli. Hardworking. Good ethics. End product. Enough said about him.

      5. Emi martinez. Another one on sold list issue. But he has been with Arsenal for a very long time, he is Arsenal’s own son afterall. I would really love to see him under the goal weekly. I dont care if Leno is arguably better or what, Martinez raise through Arsenal, plays for the badge, and his quality is sufficient as number one. We should be proud when watching him weeks in and out.

    2. Marshal says:

      For the mean time we can use the guy… but l agree they are other better midfielders out there.. he is too slow. Hv you noticed that sometimes he slows our attacks… in the future we should upgrade there..

  4. ken1945 says:

    For me, AMN is a concern – not for his ability, as I believe he believe he will be one of our best academy players ever.

    No, it’s what plans the club have for him.
    It is being assumed that Bellerin would leave because we have AMN and Soares as cover.
    However, that is not the position that has seen him called up for international duties.
    AMN must realise that, so would he be prepared to play at RB, when his best performances have been recognised in his favoured position?

    Saka Martinelli, Gabriel, ESR, Sabilla are all exciting prospects, but AMN is my big concern.

    1. Sean M says:

      By “His favoured position”, I assume you mean LB then as that’s the only position he’s played for Arsenal (and the position that he’s been called up to the England squad for).

      He’s played CM about 5 times at the senior level and has underwhelmed every time.

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        “His favored position” must be winger because that is what AMN said he has always considered himself to be.

        1. Lenohappy says:

          And how many times have you seen Amn play as a winger, if the kid don’t want to play the position Arteta want, then we should just sell him then. I can’t believe some fans, this boy has played CM just once, he played as a winger in 4 cup games, but where he has excelled more is the Rb but people keep saying he’s a midfielder, the great arsene Wenger never used him as a midfielder even when we were so short of quality, Emery never used him as midfielder, even Freddie in his 5 matches in charge, he never used him as a midfielder, now Arteta too, but all what we keep reading on here is how he’s best position is the middle. Saka is a winger but has excelled as a wingback, even Pépé as played both as a right winger and a left winger. He was called to the national team to play at the back @Ken1945 not in the middle.

        2. ken1945 says:

          The description the club gave in his profile is as follows from the 19/20 Official Handbook:

          “A versatile player, he can play in central midfield, full back or at wing back – where he usually appeared last season. He is comfortable on either flank.”

          The point I am making is that he has been recognised by England as as a left sided player, whereas it seems the thinking is that he will be the natural shoehorn if Bellerin goes.

          I can’t see him relishing that, especially as he knows now that other clubs and England see him as a left sided player…where he has excelled in recent games.
          I hope MA doesn’t see him as a Bellerin replacement, as that would be a waste of great potential…in my opinion.

  5. Eddie says:

    Saka, Martinelli, Tierney, AMN and Pepe.
    Nothing else.. These guys would be interesting if they get to play a lot this season

    1. Admin Pat says:

      I agree completely with your five Eddie…

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍 They are my five as well, with Emile Smith Rowe as a special mention.

    2. John Legend says:

      Exactly my 5, Eddie
      Thanks

    3. goona says:

      i wld add Cbalos to that list

  6. S.J says:

    It is sad, the injury Martinelli had in training. Looking forward to him being fit again, that player excites me.

    We are spoilt for choice in attack and defense now. 1 or 2 players in midfield and we are complete as a team.
    I like the squad depth we have now and we have to sell some players in defense and midfield.

    I look forward the most to Saka, Martinelli, Pepe, Tierney, Smith-Rowe.

  7. Naghar says:

    If anyone think that Xhaka good enough, prepare yourself for big disappointment. Xhaka to slow, and among many other things

  8. S.J says:

    My next 5 I look out to will be Saliba, Willian, Gabriel, Xhaka, Nketiah.

  9. Tommogun58 says:

    For me it is AMN SALIBA, GABRIEL ,MARTINELLI,AND SAKA,i would be very excited about Partey if he were to come but as I have said before i feel this is very doubtful i just think his fee and wages are out of our reach at this moment in time.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Thommogun58, I still have faith, don’t lose yours, even though we have been disappointed in the past!😥

      1. Moyale says:

        What makes me believe partey is on his way to arsenal is that, no any other team is mentioned in regards to transfer for Thomas except for arsenal. I believe the deal is in an advanced stage on the final details of payment. which will be done after one or two players moving out to trim the squad size.

  10. Ubameyang says:

    1. Martinelli
    2. Saka
    3. Saliba-Gabrieal partnership
    4. Pepe
    5. Auba! Auba!! Auba!!!

    My major interest for the coming season

  11. Girshwin Lodewyk says:

    i would like to see Maris performance once his fit again

  12. Bunny says:

    PEA
    Willian
    Gabriel
    Aoura or Partey
    Martinez

  13. Dan kit says:

    Ozil ,matteo ,Mustafi ,sok,elneny

    1. Fuzzy Gunner says:

      Lol , watch them progress out the door !

    2. Quincy Okereke says:

      Good luck Dan😂

    3. Sue says:

      Got your tin hat, Dan?! 😂

  14. Loose Cannon says:

    Emi
    AMN Saliba Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Cabellos
    Aouar/ESR
    Pepe /Saka Auba Gabriel / Wiilian

    If we can get Partey and Aouar, re sign Cabellos and keep Auba, we have a top 3 team. Sorry Fulham, we are gonna spoil your EPL initiation / welcome party big time.

    Subs – Leno, Cedric, Xhaka, Eddie, Elneny, Luiz, Marri
    Out : Torrera, Socrates, Bellerin (if he wants to), Laca, Kolasinac
    Transfer to the U10s : Mesut Ozil

    1. Dan kit says:

      That’s not five ,that’s a whole team ,that’s not the game we are playing here today LC ..

      1. Loose Cannon says:

        Thanks for the correction, I’ve chosen the back line – Emi, AMN, Saliba, Gabriel and Tierney. Our Achilles heel for the past decade or more.We had good forwards and mid filed, the back line was always the grey area.
        Love the calmness and work rate of Emi, AMN, Tierney and good to see young faces in Gabs and Saliba.

  15. Anlord says:

    Guendouzi, plays for the badge and all he gets is criticism… i reckon this guy is gona be epic

    1. Dan kit says:

      Yea just not for us

  16. Quincy Okereke says:

    I am looking forward to seeing how everyone performs but the five I will pick are.. ESR.. Willian.. Pepe.. Saliba and of course Gabriel Martinelli.

  17. Wyoming says:

    I expect Arsenal to win the league this season.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      They will my friend. There is no doubt about it.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        HH, if “there is no doubt about it”, better put your life savings on it now at 45-1 currently with the football bookmakers. When the transfer window closes, the odds may be a lot shorter.
        Let me know how you go at the end of the season.
        As for me, I don’t gamble as during my life I have needed all my luck to stay alive!

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          I am a rich person come May. I have never been sure of anything in my life.

  18. slow says:

    emile rowe smith
    amn
    martinelli
    celibalos if he does come back, goals from him
    The coach he sud be fast in making decisions

  19. Adajim says:

    My 5,
    Gabriel, Saliba, Pepe, Saka, Nketia

  20. Sean Williams says:

    Pepe (2nd season)
    Gabriel
    Ceballos
    Saliba
    Martinelli (if fit)

    Why…Why are we selling Guendouzi? Sterling has grabbed everybody’s throat. He a kid with great potential. Are we gonna do another Gnabry, The boy has so much potential. Keepppp him.

  21. gunnerforlife says:

    The five I am looking forward to:
    Martinelli
    Saka
    Willian
    Saliba
    Martinez
    I will also mention ESR as a special mention. Hope either Partey or Aouar or both come along soon than we will be a team very difficult to beat. Also I am looking forward to us beating the Mickey Mouse led tottering team 5-0 both home and away. Up the Gunners!

  22. Jo-Gunz says:

    Martinez – we need that tiger protecting our goal post
    Magalhaes- he can’t afford not to live up to the hype
    Saliba – His imposing presence and composure will improve our defends
    Tierney – He is a turbo engine
    Aubameyang- we terribly need his goals

    Special mention to Martinelli. I feel like a sensational EPL career for Gabi is guaranteed.

    1. Jo-Gunz says:

      Willian for Saliba
      If Willian is to reproduce his last season’s form, then our attack force is in for a terrific “Joint Operation”

  23. Chenchei says:

    I’d go for Tierney, Saka, Martinelli, Saliba and Pepe. And Gabriel. Six then.

    1. Kenya 001 says:

      Like your five chenchei excluding the sixth 👌

  24. Robbo says:

    Martinelli, Smith-rowe Teirney,Saliba and I would like Quenduzi to sort his problems out

  25. Val says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the team looks like come October 5th.
    As there is still over a month left of the window, i’m sure we will see more incomings and hopefully alot of out goings to trim the squad down.
    I’m looking forward the most to see how the back 5 ( 6 ) will operate, who is going to be between the sticks?
    will we go with a back 3 or 4? if HB goes, who is 1st choice at RB?
    Theres alot of players to look out for this season, its very hard to pin point just 5 players for me so i’ll just say the back 5

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  26. AFCam says:

    saka and pepe if it allows Auba to play cf
    martinelli of course and aouar(if we dont get him , esr)
    sorry , no controversial picks

  27. Nifty says:

    I just hope people aren’t so sentimental about AMN. He had a whole season to own the right back position, but he bottled it.
    He kept on nagging about how he does not like that position. I have watch Saka played LB, LWB LW, RW and AM. In all those matches you could barely questioned his attitude. Arnold I learnt was a midfielder in the youth teams but today he is a world class RB, and he is younger than AMN.
    AMN has good abilities as a footballer, but he also has the tendency of becoming careless over a prolonged period in the first eleven. I can still remember his performance in the Europa League final against Chelsea. It baffles me the most is people actually think he is a better RB than Bellerin. Bellerin will always give you moments of brilliance even in matches he plays badly. Recently, the winning goal in the FA cup and even our goal in the Community Shield were down to some good work from him. While it’s good to rate one of our own, we should also be careful of overrating.

    1. jon fox says:

      Nifty, Also careful of underrating vastly improved academy players, like AMN, who are still young and ALSO of overrating players who simply cannot defend and who have amply proved that over five seasons, like Bellerin!

      1. Nifty says:

        If AMN was as good you want me to believe. Bellerin shouldn’t be in the starting 11. Bellerin as at the time he went for injury was playing badly, but still walked into the team after a long injury . Compare with the Clyne situation at Liverpool, Arnold made us forget how good Clyne was. AMN is good but a better RB than Bellerin, not yet. You may even think he is a better midfielder than Xhaka😂😂🤣

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Nifty, please visit Specsavers, as a matter of urgency.

    2. Nifty says:

      The 5 players I am most excited about for this season are.
      1 Saka
      2 Martinelli
      3 Tieney
      4 Saliba
      5 Xhaka

  28. jon fox says:

    My five most exciting players are Auba(who else, REALISTICALLY, could it possibly be !) Saka, Martinelli(once fit) Saliba and Gabriel.

  29. Highbury Hero says:

    1. Pepe- I believe Arteta can revive what he did in France and I am sure he will deliver.

    2. Tierney- Hopeful for an injury less season for our future captain.

    3. Lacazette- With Willian and Pepe I believe he will rediscover his form. He is a very deadly finisher.

    4. Willian- How he is going to make our attack better.

    5. Guendouzi/ Ozil if something changes. Are they going to prove doubters right or wrong? 50-50.

    1. wiggy says:

      @ highbury hero
      I concur with you. That is definitely the top 5, I am excited about.
      AMN and Nketiah useless, should be playing in championship or league one.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Wiggy while I am also not sold and completely agree with you on Nketiah and I don’t believe he will not make it at Arsenal, I like AMN a lot.

      2. ozziegunner says:

        wiggy, you are entitled to your opinion regarding Nheketia and AMN, but thank goodness Arteta disagrees.
        It is Arteta’s opinion that counts.

  30. Daddy sue says:

    Tierney, xhaka, Willian, Pepe and Aubameyang. My exciting top 5

  31. Trudeau says:

    Great question and what is great is that we are spoilt for choice. Cant argue with anyone’s choice.

    For me, young players tend to generate more excitement because of the unknown. So this year its Saliba (is he really going to be as good as advertised) and Nelson (who two years ago was being talked about in same breath as Sancho)

  32. Mohsan says:

    Great Article, for me

    1) Saliba
    2) Martenelli
    3) Saka
    4) Tierney
    5) Gabriel and Saliba partnership if they are played together so we can have a peak into our defensive future.

  33. Sean M says:

    To me, reading the (excellent) article and comments, I see a lot of excitement from fans for a wide range of players. We could make a first XI out of players with 5+ votes.

    Distilling all this, the optimism we’re showing reflects very well on the huge potential we have in this squad. It’s going to be a much better season – I feel it my bones.

    COYG

  34. Unge says:

    1)Pepe:The focus is no longer going to be on him and the burden of the price tag,he is going to light Up the Emirates
    2)David Luiz:With better defence partners,he is going to be solid,plus he will be playing for another year’s contract
    3)Ceballos:The passion he has for the Club,for me is entertainment enough
    4)Nketiah:Hes going to be our poacher
    5)Auba:Golden boot

  35. Twig says:

    Mine

    1. Guendouzi
    2. Ozil
    3. Mustafi
    4. Leno
    5. Chambers

  36. Grandad says:

    At my age it takes a lot to excite me I’m afraid but I have a concern that Martinelli will hardly play next season through injury.I will be excited if Arteta reverts to an attacking 4-3-3 formation with a back four of AMN, Saliba,Gabriel and the admirable Tierney.To make up my five I would love to see Pepe fulfil his undoubted ability .

  37. Sid says:

    I would like to go for players who would have their first full season with us this time and have shown something that we had been missing when they play. So here goes-
    1. Tierney (who else, LOL! The guy is a monster down the left and maybe will become the best LB in the league)
    2. Saliba (will be eased into the squad I think, but he provides pace and calmness to our backline and can develop into an absolute baller)
    3. Saka (a full season on the wings. I think he will better his numbers from last season)
    4. Willian/ESR/You-know-who (it would be interesting to see if Arteta has a different formation in mind. With that I guess any of these guys will be tasked with providing creativity to unlock opposition defenses)
    5.Pepe (I know he violates the conditions I had set, but under three managers, in and out of the team, and you can see what I am going on about. I think a fully settled Pepe can be a weapon for us on the right side and also will better his numbers from last season )
    Special mentions to- Martinelli, Gabriel, Elneny and a fit Bellerin if he is not sold.

  38. Andrew Elder says:

    Leno
    Tierney
    Smith-Rowe
    Martinelli
    Saka

  39. RW1 says:

    Players I am not excited about watching unless it’s for another club

    Xhaka
    Nketiah
    Bellerin
    Willock
    Guendhouzi
    Luiz
    Mustafi
    Kolacinac
    Nelson

    All still on our books … all have played regularly this year though some more than others .. all average or less than average footballers that are holding us back … if holding and sokratis are off then Luis and mustafi will be retained … if others keep playing we will be in trouble

    1. ozziegunner says:

      RW1, just consider how many games Arsenal will play in the EPL and if they progress in the three cup competitions. The Club cannot perform in all with only the starting 11, but needs a strong bench and reserves for rotation, injury replacements etc.

      1. RW1 says:

        True … but if we bring in a couple of midfielders we will need to offload some of these and promote some youngsters … we have a history of keeping deadwood on board for too long

  40. Herbz says:

    Undoubtedly my most exciting players next season are;

    1. Martinez
    2. Cedric
    3. Gabriel
    4. Willian
    5. Pepe

    Of course Aubameyang is an obvious choice for everyone.

    Am sorry no one in midfield excites me and many on here…. which is a worry.

    1. Herbz says:

      Those six players alone guarantee us a top 4 finish next season as they have a “SAMBA” feel about them.

  41. Kadibia says:

    How come nobody mentioned Willian

    1. RSH says:

      probably because he’s been in the league for years and we’ve all seen him play a ton. The young players are more exciting.

  42. Reggie says:

    How on earth anyone can get ” excited ” watching Xhaka is beyond me. Still im excited about Tierney,Saka, Ceballos, Pepe and Amn purely because i feel they have scope to do better next season than last.

  43. RSH says:

    Saliba, Gabriel, Martinelli, Saka, ESR
    Essentially all our youth. I just want to see them all do well and hopefully have another academy player become a regular like Saka managed to do this season.

  44. Arsha says:

    My most exciting players to wqtch come next season are
    Luiz(have a feeling he will be paired with either saliba/Gabriel)
    Ceballos
    ESR (i see a de bruyne-like quality in him)
    Saka ( will prove he is not a one-season player)
    Lacazette( I can’t neglect auba_laca great love and respect on and off the field. And he will love to reclaim his spot as the main striker in the team.)

  45. LA Gunner says:

    Saliba, Gabriel, Ceballos, Pepe, *Aouar

  46. Nosmore says:

    For me notable names in line for ‘ next level ‘ are Saka, Martinelli, Saliba, Martinez and Obviously Auba. others have a chance to usurp but for now these are the ones i think are made of diamond

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