Which one player would you say is irreplaceable in Arsenal’s remaing 12 League games?

Who holds the key to Arsenal’s title bid? Every Gooner will undoubtedly have his preference in this matter. You could ask five Gooners and get five different responses. However, in response to the same question, Ally McCoist believes Arsenal defenders Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba are vital to the club’s title charge. He pointed out on talkSPORT: “It’s a funny one, I hear what you’re saying about Odegaard and Saka and boys like that.

“I actually think with Arsenal, you don’t want to lose one of the centre-backs again.”

I almost disagreed with the Rangers legend’s statements, but after recalling how Arsenal’s title hopes crumbled after William Saliba missed the final few months of the season, I couldn’t. Arsenal were shambolic at the conclusion of the season because the Frenchman was irreplaceable.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously claimed that attack wins games, but defence wins titles. And if Arsenal win the league this season, they will only be justifying that observation.

The Gunners’ strongest position has clearly been on the defensive side of the game. Saliba has continued to soar, and Gabriel appears to have been reborn; he does not make rash decisions, but rather ones that are thoroughly thought out.

Because of their excellent defensive players, the Gunners have conceded the fewest goals (23) in the league, have the most clean sheets (10), and have, as per fbref, faced the fewest shots on target, 59 shots (Man City, the next team has faced 75). Isn’t this incredible?

Some of us want to praise one of Gabriel or Saliba, but they, as a team, have actually laid the groundwork for the success this Arsenal team is experiencing. If there are two players that shouldn’t be injured between now and the end of the season, it is Gabriel and Saliba; they are key to Arsenal’s game plan this season, although it is now looking likely that Kiwior could be readymade replacement if the worst happens.

At one time, it was feared that Arsenal’s attack would cost them the league crown, but Arteta has shown that he could find new ways for his team to score goals; so we cannot name any of our forwards as being irreplaceable, can we? Arsenal are definitely flying even without a natural striker.

There are probably some fans that would say that the London Player of the Year Declan Rice is our mainstay in midfeld, but is he more vital than, say, William Saliba for the title run-in?

So if you were forced to pick just one Arsenal player that is irreplaceable in our race for the title, who would you choose?

Darren N

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  1. Saliba of course because currently he does not have a natural replacement in the absence of Timber Rice has got good cover in Partey and Jorginho so quite replaceable, Smith Rowe,Trossard and Vieira can step in at no 10 So Odegaard is replaceable in case of the absence of Havertz in no8 both Rice,Trossard and Smith Rowe can also step in to replace him, same case at both wings Saka and Martineli can be replaced with lowering the quality of players Trossard,Jesus, Nelson,Havertz, Smith Rowe Nwaneri can all play.at CF Havertz,Trossard can replace Jesus as we saw recently at LCB kiwior is there as well as left back so Saliba will be a bigger lose than most players just like the last season he was dearly missed.

    1. I’d forgotten partey was even an option. If he could come in match fit, I’d agree, he could make up for losing rice, at least to a large degree – I’m far from convinced that would be the case, though.

    2. Saliba will indeed be a huge miss if he got injured. That said,I reckon White would be a capable deputy but that would only be possible if Tomiyasu were available. If not for Tomiyasu’s injury last season,I guess White would have played at right CB.

  2. Can only be Saliba

    Rice/Saka/Ode honourable mentions but they could have the best games and we could still lose without a rock solid defence.

  3. It is not one single player or 2 players who are indespensible, the team as a whole is important. Apart from saliba and Gabriel, white and Rice are also important pivots of the defence and so also Kiwier. We cannot win games if we dont create and score goals so Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli are also important. it is a team game and all are important pieces of the puzzle.

  4. Rice, easily. We have better cover for the centre backs than we did last season (assuming Tomi and zinchenko will return fairly soon, white, tomi or kiwior are better than holding and the early version of kiwior we had last season) – we have no adequate cover for rice.
    I’m not saying losing saliba or Gabriel wouldn’t affect us – it would probably be enough to stop our title challenge, but I think the chances of a complete collapse are greater if we were to lose rice.

  5. Rice rice baby is at the mo irreplaceable. Do we even know the sort of midfielder we ve in our hands?! Odegaard,rice…those guys are hot cake ballers!!!

  6. Saliba

    Saliba injury a big part of last season crumble

    we are better equipped this season to deal with that, but as many say, the best defence (least goals conceded) wins the league, despite all the striker talk

  7. No man is an Island, was never comfortable with singling out individuals, it almost tantamount to antiArsenal.

    1. we already have a super potent attack

      and we had a super potent attack last season

      we didn’t win last year due to drop defensive quality following Saliba injury

  8. I belive the team are better off this season than last season,but the two center back are superb.

  9. Without a doubt Gabriel Malgahaes
    Without Saliba we won’t win the league
    But without Gabriel we won’t even make top 4

  10. Correction

    What made us fail to win the league last season was not the injury to William Saliba. Rather, it was because of the injuries of both Saliba and Tomiyasu

    If Tomiyasu had not been injured, he would have replaced Saliba very well. Remember White is also a CB

    In this squad, everybody is important. And every body is replaceable

    1. I tend to agree Freddy. White and Tomiyasu are accomplished CBs in their own right and if not for Tomi injury,White would have slotted next to Gabriel without a significant drop in quality. It helps that Gabriel and White have partnered before. Some fans imagine that the club will sign someone as good as Saliba to be his deputy. Thing is,nobody as good as Saliba will want to sit on the bench. With regards to cover for CB,I don’t think it gets better than White and Tomiyasu. These two would walk into most teams in the world as starting CBs. From little we’ve seen of Timber,he can play there too. At a push,Rice can play there if Partey is fit. I’d say we are better equipped to handle a Saliba injury this season.

  11. I’d say that our top scorer this season would be the most difficult one to emulate. Even Trossard’s goals are mostlly fed by Saka those two link up well together Our defense is a team effort and Gabriel arguably has been our best defender this season Rice too from midfield is a monster out of possession And Saliba of course makes things look easy White and J Kiwior have added some umph to the backline Backline are all tall strong CB’s Odegaard and Havertz pressing are the best two pressers in the lreague of late. Theres so many important players no point me mentioning them all …I say Saka

  12. I would say Nicolas Jover, who is behind our top scorer this season – Mr Set Piece. I bet Mr Set Piece will finish the season with 20-25 goals. Is he/it the elusive striker? I think so.

  13. In my own observation. As things stand in the Arsenal’s first XI starting team that is looking to be preferred by Arteta to start Epl matches. After the Gunners have returned from their Dubai training camp.
    And thereafter turned to become unstoppable goals scoring machines in the Epl.
    In this wise, I think Willian Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Bukayo Saka are looking to be irreplaceable in the Arsenal’s team starting line-up currently.
    This is because the required top level in the positions the trio Gunners operate from will drop if any of them didn’t start.

  14. Most Gooners have politely replied to your slightly unreal request Darren.

    But I cannot indulge in fantasy games, as I know rhat to have any real title chance, we MUST keep ALL our key players fit the whole time.
    Which unlikely scenario, is PRECISELY the reason WHY I do not think we WILL win the title this year.
    However, IF and its a huge IF, we do manage to keep SAKA, SALIBA, GABRIEL, RICE AND ODEGAARD ALL FIT FOR ALL REMAINING GAMES, then and only then , we DO have a realistic chance

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