Think long term and you can see what Arsenal are trying to do

The evidence is there that Arsenal has a plan in place for the future.

There is no denying that the recruitment policy at Arsenal over the last decade has been seriously flawed. Money has been wasted, quality lost and acquisitions below Arsenal standard. However, the signs are there that the club has learned from their mistakes and do have a plan in place.

Let’s look four years into the future and I choose four years because of the comparisons constantly being made to the Liverpool model.

In goal we have Bernd Leno, possibly short of being world-class but not a liability, he is 27 and that means that in four years he will be 31, still in his prime.

In defence, we have Kieran Tierney at just 22, William Saliba at 18, Pablo Mari at 26, Hector Bellerin at 24, Rob Holding 24 and Calum Chambers 25, all would be well below 30 in four years time and could be a very solid block defensive unit. There is still Bukayo Saka at 18 who could yet be converted permanently to a defender.

I do not include any of the other defenders because of age or the high chance they will be sold.

In midfield, Lucas Torreira is just 23, Matteo Guendouzi 20, Emile Smith Rowe 19, Joe Willock 20, even Ainsley Maitland-Nile at 22.

Then we have the forwards, Gabriel Martinelli is just 18, Reiss Nelson 20, Eddie Nketiah the same age and Nicolas Pepe 24.

Now, some of those named may not progress as we would hope, some may want to leave and of course, there will be new signings brought in over the eight transfer windows that will span the next four years.

Arsenal is buying top young talent, they are developing within their own ranks and the team we see today will not be anything like what we will see in four years.

There will be no Luiz, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette and probably no Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac or Xhaka.

It may not seem it right now, but the evidence really is there that Arsenal does have a vision now and they are implementing it at a steady pace.


  1. Went on “Saliba Watch” last night, and sat through a 90 min’ re-run of the Metz v St Etienne game last night.
    I totally focused on Saliba, both in and out of possession, and here’s my take on what we can expect from the 18 year old.
    Saliba looks a “cultured” centre back. Playing on the right hand side of a 4. He looks to win the ball by his reading of the game and positional sense, rather than full on physical challenges.
    He seeks to win the ball via interceptions, get his head up and play the ball into midfield using the 10 to 15 yard variety of passing.
    W S likes to draw the “press”, and give the ball simply into space (ring a bell as to where we’re at ?).
    On the occasion he was asked to use his strength he , when involved in a foot race, simply leaned on the Metz player and “flicked” him off – leaving him (Metz) on his backside (good to see !).
    Aerially, hard to say as the ball was all most exclusively kept on the deck – however, this did change somewhat the second half ( not to Saliba’s liking).
    Overall Saliba had a comfortable first 30 odd minutes, where the pace and style of the game suited him – ball kept on the floor, and moved around at pace.
    Just before half time Metz keeper launched the ball from his hands.
    William S misjudged the aerial challenge on his man, flick on – 1-0 Metz.
    Second half, different story.
    Metz upped the anti.
    More aggression, pace and directness about their game, Salibi did not have the best day at the office from here on in.
    After being drawn out wide and beat too easy for the second Metz goal, he was (after the Metz 3rd) moved to left back (?) for the last 20 or so.
    This not to nullify any threat from the right flank of Metz or injury to L/B , but Puel seemed to want to simply get another centre back on there to stem the tide.
    Game ended 3 – 0 Metz.
    Now let me make this clear, to put an 18 year old under the microscope for 90 minutes, and watch every move is somewhat harsh, but hey we are at the top level here.
    What I saw was over one , and yes just ONE, performance.
    Salibi is obviously going to be a very good player, and a number of decent sides were reportedly in for him.
    But in the context of this article, is he ready yet ?
    We are talking ready to transition from Ligue 1 to the EPL.
    I can see why William Saliba is seen as a “typical Arsenal player”.
    Think more embryonic V V D, rather than Papa, Mustafi ( what a turn-round there) or Dunk of Brighton in terms of physicality we are going to have to be patient with this kid – and he will need experience to guide him through.
    Totally different roles in the side (obviously), but I saw Martinelli being much nearing being “ready”, than I see in Saliba.
    However, let’s get him in and work with the boy, get pre-season under our belts and take it from there. I’m sure we’ll have a very good addition on our hands.
    Saliba, Willock, Saka, Marinelli, Eddie, Tierney, E S R (to come back) Pepe (still bedding in).
    All nippers to be used carefully.
    Potentially great players all but beware, we cannot be adrift by a dozen points come November.

    1. Great work and interesting to read. Keep the reports coming if you have the patience.

      I’m going to try to catch a few more Arsenal U23s games and do the same!

  2. ” There will be no Luiz, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette and probably no Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac or Xhaka.”

    When our list of most experienced players is composed of most of our worst players it makes you severely question our recruitment team. Apart from aubameyang everyone on this list can be sold without any regrets.

  3. OK Admin, I rode on your lane till…Bukayo Saka could be converted to a defender?….what a waste of talent that would be heh?…Look, I’m soaked by grief having to watch that kid on the left of defence…you seen his penchant eye for goal, his dazzling runs at the opponent fearlessly, his stunner in the Europa to drag us back into the game, geez!..boy’s talented upstairs…I’d rather have Nelson in goal.

    1. Wasn’t Ashley Cole a left winger before he became one of the best left backs in the world. I also believe the same of Roberto Carlos.

  4. My fear is that the Barcas and Madrids will come and pick our best talent – Guendozi, Gabriel, Sako, Saliba and Torrera while Pool or Chelsea may take Smith and Tierney. Obviously let us come to terms that Ozil will run down his contract and will not be there post 2021, so will Socrates, Luiz, maybe Xhaka. Auba and Laca will be transferred earlier, but as Arsenal being Arsenal will sign some nearing retirement free bees from Utd, Chelsea or Pool and the cycle will repeat.We have been waiting for the promised days for a decade to compete with the elite, sadly the elite to them meant the Crystal Palaces, Burnleys and Brightons (no disrespect to any of those clubs, they are properly managed with sound players on a decent wage and are producing decent results). Against the gloom, let us hope we achieve what the article mentions in the near future.

  5. There will be challenges, but if fans are to be patient and with the board’s support, Arteta’s masterpiece of a team will definitely come out terrific. The dish when done would be sumptuous.

  6. Historically, Spurs, Man U, Leeds and other big guns have got Relegated. We are not Divine. If we play like we did against Burnley we could GO DOWN. Probably not….but if we play like shite we will. So…Ozil out, Mustafi out, Luiz out. We have 11 bodies on the pitch but they add up to 10 players. We are in reality do not have 11 full minds focusing on the game. Arteta is falling into Emery’s trap playing Mustafi and Luiz. Isn’t it obvious now, Luiz is over the hill and Mustafi not good enough? The results prove it. Holding is not fully match fit. Better to play Socratis and Mari and make sure we don’t sink lower.

  7. The future looks rosy but we are in imminent danger of losing our way…..relying on many substandard players. Spend GIANT in the summer break and try to get both Maddison and Grealish. With our youngsters that would be something. If you don’t shoot you don’t score.

  8. Arsenal scouting resources have been decimated in favour of dealing with agents. The first team has been a work in progress for how many years now? Every year the team is supposedly being rebuilt, with the infamous summer window OD bring in Cech yet no outfield plavers, being an example of what brought Arsenal to its current situation.
    Now Arsenal can only afford loan deals with options to buy and we wonder why top class players reject Arsenal. It must be agreed that at least this January window, the players fit positions where there is a need.
    Same old same old, rinse and repeat under this Board and owner, as Arsenal’s player strength and depth are diluted.

  9. Agents are the leeches who should not be a factor when it comes to our recruitment policy which has been an unmitigated disaster for years.I understand FIFA are undertaking a root and branch review of fees paid to agents and players, which amuses me given their penchant for corruption over the decades.I await the outcome of their deliberations with interest.


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