The squad that Arsenal need to win Europa League and Top 4 next season

Arsenal 2022/23 Europa League Challenge by Sean O’Hara

This season’s end did fall apart but we have to look forward to next season. I’ll start with good news in MARTINELLI’s no11 number swap which is brilliant & he fully deserves it. The no2 is available, Saliba? We have to concentrate on this summer as soon as Monday morning arrives.

We need to prepare for next season with a few additions to this squad, who now have a year’s experience together in the league as a young team, the youngest in England, 4th in Europe.

Since it is Europa for next season then we should be smart in who we buy and let go of the ones that need to leave for us to move forward. I still think Leno, Xhaka, Elneny, Eddie, Soares, Pepe & Laca should all be allowed to leave.

Leno has a replacement in Turner already, Replace Laca with a top striker, Balogun can take Eddie’s spot with plenty of chances in Europe. I’d love Nunez but no UCL it’s never happening. This is going to be the hardest choice to make!

Lokonga needs to step up and slot in like Elneny does & he can do it, but Xhaka needs replaced with a Bissouma/Kamara type or both men would be ideal & the latter is free.

White in my opinion isn’t good enough for CB, RB could be an option to battle with the injury riddled Tomi who is super but unlucky.

– Saliba has to return to this first team squad now and given that no2 & a spot alongside Gabriel as he needs someone to compliment him, and they could do that for each other.

With the Sales above we can afford a Top Striker to not damage our budget.

Roughly £80m+ in Sales, a lot of wages saved to pay the incoming player.

Kamara is free, Bissouma will cost £30m at least. Saliba, Turner, Trusty, and Marquinhos is coming too, but he may be loaned out, but we will see.

How could we not then go and buy a winger like Gakpo & a creative midfielder like Aouar? That’s not a lot of money spent and a possible squad.


Gk – Ramsdale Turner Okonkwo

RB – Tomi White

CB – Saliba Gabriel Holding Trusty

LB – Tierney Tavares

DM – Partey Kamara

CM – Aouar Lokonga

AM – Øde Smith Rowe

RW – Saka Gakpo

LW – Martinelli

CF – No9 Balogun

This is only a little scenario which 99.9% of these signings are not going to happen but we do need to get rid of the players mentioned above with suitable replacements. With a squad like this how could we not challenge for Top4 and possibly a great run in the Europa League, as winning it with this squad had to be the no1 priority.

Who would you fit into this squad instead? OR Do we talk about the complete collapse of our Top4 challenge & question if Mikel is the right man to take this squad Into the Europa League & Premier league campaign after his badly timed announcement of his contract?

Some light-hearted discussions until Sundays visit from Everton. I know the UCL is technically not over yet points-wise, but Norwich is not beating Spurs, and we may struggle against Everton who have nothing to lose but to enjoy their last game.


Sean O’Hara

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Video – Mikel Arteta talks ahead of our last game of the season

Tags Bissouma Europa Saliba


  1. Published mine yesterday. There is currently 32 players in our first team squad if you include the 2 new signings from the States.

    Arteta said the other day that he wants to work with a squad of 3 keepers and 22 outfield players. The first group is closed, it’s just about who he sells or loans out. IMO he will sell Leno and Runarrsson then rotate Smith and Hillson as his no.3 keeper whilst loaning out Hein and Okonkwo. Though I would not be surprised if he kept Runarrsson as no.3 keeper and loaned the other 2 out as well.

    Leaving him Ramsdale Turner Runarrsson

    In defence he will want 8 defenders I think those will be Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin, Saliba, Holding, Hickey.

    His midfield 6, Partey Tielemans Sambi, Elneny or Maitland-Niles Odegaard, Xhaka or Kamara

    His 6 forwards Saka, Nelson, SmithRowe, Martinelli, Jesus, Calvert-Lewin

    That squad still has 4 under 21s so a few more could be added if he wants? I think Tavares and Balogun will be sent on loan if we sign 2 strikers and recall Nelson, if not Tavares could well become a winger, Balogun could be the back up striker.

    1. When was the last time Calvert Lewin scored a goal ?
      And Balogun cannot be a back up striker and on loan…

      1. Got the winner against palace didn’t he? Hahaha but I still think he’s all that good

        1. Nope as I said IMO think Arteta might sell Xhaka and keep Sambi.

          If it were me I would sell Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles and loan out Sambi. I would bring in 3 new midfielders, but have we got that money?

          Fact is we need to win EL next season that is our easiest way of reaching Champions League again. Unless of course we beat Everton and Spurs lose to Norwich that is far easier, but most fans think that is harder than winning the Europa League or finishing 4th next season.

  2. @sean
    That team would get us exactly where we have found our selves this year somewhere between 4th-8th.
    The players signed last season are not good enough and I fear that adding to them with the same quality will just leave us once again with players that we struggle to move on .
    Groundhog Day .

    1. Completely agree we need to sign players who will hit the ground running. I would start with Bissouma and Maddison in the midfield and then Jesus and either Abraham or Oisheim to the attack. If we can still afford hickey that would be great.

      Tomi saliba Gabriel Tierney
      Odegard Madderson
      Saka Abraham Jesus

      Bench of Turner, Hickey, White, Xhaka , Bissouma, Nelson, Martinelli, Nkietah, Esr and Balagon

  3. I expect us going into Europa to win it and win either QARABAO or FA cup to go with, while Finnishing 4th…

    My envisioned squad.






    Defense: Holding, Gebby, Umtiti (loan deal only), Tavares and our bologna hopeful

    MF: elneny, Lokonga, Marcelo, partino, ESR, Arthur and Dybala

    FW: Jesus and balogun

  4. The problem with these sort of discussions is that just because you want to sell a player doesn’t mean anyone has to buy him. Nor is it possible to terminate a player’s contract, you have to pay him even if you don’t play him. None of this stops fans of many clubs assuming massive cash inflows from selling the players who aren’t good enough for their squad.

  5. Just so you know, you have picked only 20 outfield players. This is a squad I could see making top 4 next year while having a chance at winning cups too. All of these signings are current targets. Obviously we won’t be likely to get them but I’m allowed to dream this time of year ;).

    Forwards: 6
    Gnabry (Any 1st choice striker target if he goes to Madrid)
    Nketiah (Balogun if he leaves)
    Jesus (first choice Lw, backup striker)

    Midfielders: 7
    Tielemans (Arthur if he goes to Madrid)
    Elneny (Upgraded to Bissouma if his sexual assault charge is dropped)

    Defenders: 9

    Keepers: 3

    1. This would be just 4 signings with a 5th if we were to get in Bissouma. I understand people want Cedric out but he will battle Tavares for 4th and 5th choice fullback. So won’t get a lot of game time. Norton-Cuffy needs a year in the Championship and can then replace him after that.

  6. Until we replace Xhaka in midfield with a B2B or true DM the midfield will still be weak.

    Partey as DM with Maddison as B2B, or Bissouma / Kamara type DM with Partey as B2B would vastly improve us.

    For striker we need a plan A with pace, creativity, and finish chances, and a tall, strong, holdup plan B who can finish crosses.

    Improved midfield and class in striker position can take pressure off the back line, and hopefully limit the negative tactics we see because of a slow, peevish midfield and toothless players in the striker position.

    My concern is we waste 50 or 60 million on Isak, who has shown he isn’t ready or the player we need.

    Honestly, missing CL scrubbed many top striker options, and forced us to alter targets and scouting for the Summer.

  7. You can sign all the players you want but if the tactics and management leadership or even having a “plan b” isn’t there then the same problems will be apparent next season…

  8. Marseille have now finished 2nd (thanks to a Lens 96th minute equaliser against Monaco)
    Saliba has a big decision to make….

    1. Everything points to him leaving us permanently in the summer. Hope I’m wrong though.


    Gakpo – LW
    Marquinhos – RW
    Jesus – ST
    Bissouma – CM
    Aouar – ACM
    Hickey – LB
    Saliba – RCD
    Turner – GK

    1. Osimehn, Jesus, gnabry……….martinelli, Saka, Gakpo, odegard, smith, tielemans ,party,Bissoma, Aouar, Rice, white, Gabriel, saliba, umtiti, Tierney, holding,tomi….Ramsdale,turner, okonkwo. Plus tow lore additions for both right and left backs. With these players we will always make a statement in the domestic league and Europe.

  10. Saliba is still contracted to us for 2 years. He will have to honour his contract if Arteta needs him.



    Gakpo. Aouar. Saka.

    Bissouma. Partey.

    Hickey. Gabriel. Saliba. Tomiyasu.




    Martinelli. Odegaard. Marquinhos.

    Lokonga. Elneny.

    Tierney. Holding. White. Cedric.


    This second 11 would receive a lot of trashing because of the difference in quality, especially in midfield and defence.

    1. You can force him to stay next season but at the risk of him going into the last year of his contract which would be a continuation of past financial irresponsibility. For me it’s clear cut, either Arteta convinces him to stay and sign an extension or we sell him whilst his value is at highest and we can demand a big transfer fee for him

  11. According to L’équipe and other sources ,Leicester have made contact with Lyon over Aouar, they see him as the perfect replacement for Tielemans.

  12. So Aouar is still aroundl. But I don’t see Arsenal going for him this summer since they already in his place have Odegaard & ESR as 2 deeplying midfielders.
    And I also don’t think Mourinho’s Roma will agree to sell Tammy Abraham to us this summerl as us haven missed singing him when he was available last summer because Auba and Laca were with us.
    But is Oisheim such a rated regular top League regular goals scorer at the top level of the game? And who can return at least over 30 goals per season in all competitions if Arsenal sign him this summer? Well, I don’t know.
    But at any rate, Arsenaal can sign a world class striker this summer and still keep Balogun and Nkethia in the team for next summer campaign. After all, didn’t they keep Auba, Laca and Nkethia for last summer campaign? But who will be that world class striker that Arsenal should sign in the summer is what I can’t say because this matter is not easy. But at the end of the day before the summer window closes, believe Arsenal will find and get a world class striker signed.
    And despite that Arsenal may or not play CL footbal next season but hopefully us will albeit us beating Everton and Tottenham losing to Norwich tomorrow. But whatever happens, the Arsenal Brand is super big and will make a world class striker to join us this summer. Even if us don’t make the CL this season.
    Saliba returning to Arsenal to stay in the team this summer and plays for the club next summer campaign, is being talked seriously about and stressed and overstressed by a host of Arsenal the supporters. But will Arteta buys in into those Arsenal supporters talk and implement it this summer? For, if he does, wouldn’t look kike and be like Arsenal have signed a new top quality centreback this summer? I think it’s up to Arteta to decide.

  13. I like your assessment of the team Sean. Having White as a right back is a good idea.
    I’d definitely keep Xhaka though. Seriously, in our team I can only see two players that would go grab an opposition player by the throat like Vieira could have done and they are Xhaka and Gabriel. We need to keep them both.
    As a striker I really hope we can get Gabriel Jesus, he’d fit in perfectly.
    As Tierney is injured for 2-3 months every season Im afraid we need a back up LB that’s defensively more reliable than Nuno Tavares even though I really like the energy in this young man.
    We shouldn’t go anywhere near Aouar, he’s inconsistent. He’s 23, If he was that good he’d already been a star in France by now and he’s clearly not.

  14. We need to beef up the squad with Europa League football and the added factor of the Qatar World Cup mid season. Considering we spent £150M without Europe last summer we should expect a similar expenditure with the help of raising additional funds through player sales and also taking into account the calibre of player we will be able to attract this summer I would be content with a squad like this going into next season.
    GK-Ramsdale Turner Okwonko
    RB-Tomiyasu Norton-Cuffy
    LB-Tierney Cucurella Taveres(loan)
    CB-Gabriel White Tapsoba/Saliba Trusty Rekik Ballard
    DM-Phillips Grillitsch(free)
    CM-Partey Aouar Lokonga
    AM-Odegaard ESR
    RW-Saka Nelson
    LW-Martinelli Gakpo
    ST-Toney Giouri Balogun

    Incomings: Turner Trusty Tapsoba(dependent on Saliba situation) Cucurella Phillips Grillitsch(free) Aouar Gakpo Toney Giouri

    Sell/Contract Expired: Leno Runnerson Bellerin Cedric Holding Mari Dinos Maitland Niles Torreira Matteo Xhaka Elneny Nketiah Lacazette.

  15. Ramsdale Turner Okonkwo
    White Saliba Holding Gabriel *Tapsoba
    Tierney *Hickey Tomiyasu *Molina
    Partey *Grillitsch Xhaka *Tielemans Odegaard Lokonga
    Saka Marinelli *Gakpo Smith-Towe
    *Osimhen Nketiah Balogun

    Tavares Lokonga

    Torreira Pepe Leno Runarsson Bellerin Cedric Mari Dinos Maitland-Niles Guendouzi

    Nketiah Lacazette

    Here is a good 25man list to challenge for 22/23
    7 signings
    2 for the 1st 11
    5 backup

  16. Arsenal Season 2021-2022
    Reality Check
    To win games, win trophies, you need 11 world class and 11 sub who can step up players. Then again you may have surplus young under 21 players. If we analyze Arsenal players position wise this season:
    1. GK: Ramsdale / Leno both are very good players. We were lucky to get Ramsdale who brought positive energy last year. Leno is a very good player too. He single handedly won us points previous seasons. So no complain in GK position.
    2. RB: We have Tomyasu as No.1. He is very sound defensively. Then we have Cedric as backup. Cedric is an average player who can do the job but also he will fall short against players like Mane, Foden. So if Tomi is injured, we are stuck with mediocracy in RB.
    3. CB: We have Gabriel/ White pairing who have been solid. But injury to either, we only have Holding. We don’t have the fourth backup. We let Mari, Chambers leave without any backup. This CB position stretched last 5 games and costed us Champions league dream.
    4. LB: KT is a good player, but Tavares is very bad defensively. He is so bad that, Mikel Arteta was forced to play Cedric/ Xhaka in LB. So injury to KT left us very open at LB.
    5. CDM: We have Partey who played well in this position, then again, he is always injured. So Elneny stepped up in his position. Elneny is very average player who did his job perfectly. But he will fall short againts Man City, Liverpool Midfield.
    6. CM: Xhaka played this position this season exclusively. lets just say he got less red cards/ fu*k ups than previous seasons. We can not trust Xhaka to not get hot, get Red card, costing us the match. Lokonga has been overwhelmed by the EPL quality. I think he will leave next season.
    7. CAM: Odegard has been fine in this position. Smith Rowe can deputise in this position. So no complaints here.
    8. RW: We have super Saka on right. Pepe did not get enough chances this season, He has been bang average when called upon. I think the problem with pepe is his attitude. he has an attitude like Messi but plays like Stewart Downing.
    9. LW: Currently Martinelli is playing on leftt. Smith Rowe can deputise on Left too.
    10. ST: We have been short in this position whole year. We had unmotivated AUBA leaving in January. Lacazette played in ST position who does not have physique to play in ST in EPL. His short legs and not so great speed is easily neutralised. Nketiah is bang average who fluke scored in two matches. Lets just say, Nketiah is not the permanent answer.

    So to sum up, our squad was super thin through out the season. With out good backups in RB, LB, CB, ST, we could not get Champions League.
    REMEMBER we are getting 5th place insted of 8th only for not playing mid week european football. If we played Europa league, we would get 8th place or worse as more injuries would rack up.
    We need RB/ LB/ CB / CDM/ Two Strikers if we are serious about next season. But its unlikely Arsenal will sign that many players. So, they will never win EPL or CL.

  17. How about we all take a good look at what this club is set to become – a Southampton-like footballer farm.

    Players they bought are at the club to grow in value and move on as soon as their price meets the expectations of KSE.

    I expect to see any performing/overperforming youngster in another club by 2024/2025.

    I never bought that KSE actually has ambitions to compete for the top 4 or, God forbid, the title.

    Starting in the 2022/2023 season, achieving the top 4 will take spending over 200M or already having a strong squad that the current top 3 have.
    KSE just doesn’t do that.

    Last summer transfer window they did spend but they spent knowing they’ll get a bigger value from those investments in a few seasons. 0% footballing reasons in each of those transfers.

    We need a miracle in the form of Salah and Mane if we are ever to see Arsenal achieve more than the top 6.

    I honestly don’t expect Arsenal to ever make it into the top 4 and I’ve stopped hoping for the title a long time ago.

  18. Imo, Arsenal should go all out for quality and experience this summer.
    Enough of the ‘young upcoming talent’ signings for now.

  19. We should sign;
    Aaron(RB) from Norwich
    Or lamprey from brighton,
    Mitchell (LB) frm crystal palace
    Aribo(DM/CM) frm Rangers
    Richalson(RW/CF) frm everton
    Nunez or watkins or solanke frm bournemouth

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