Which positions Arsenal must strengthen in the close season?
That’s a million-dollar question for the Red Half of London. Difficult decisions need to be made, and the same mistakes of the past should be circumvented. The first thing Arsenal fans will be barking out at Arsenal’s recruitment staff would be: Don’t sign old players from Chelsea! We are not a retirement home!
Obviously, your views and our views will be contrasting. Thus, we would like you tell us about “where do you think Arsenal should strengthen” in the comments section below.
Goalkeeper: Every goal Bernd Leno concedes is scrutinized by the Arsenal faithful almost religiously. The one question they come up is “would Emi Martinez have saved it?” Although, it’s pretty natural for Arsenal fans to bring up that talk, they should now just learn to move on. They had two fantastic goalkeepers for one position and sold the one for whom they received the offer for.
As a response to the departure of the Argentine, Arsenal looked at the market for a young goalkeeper. Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana gave a recommendation on French side Dijon’s Alex Runarsson. The rest, Arsenal fans would say, “was history.” Mikel Arteta eased the tension among Arsenal fans by assuring that Runarsson “knew his role” before signing for the Gunners, which was as a third-choice keeper. Even though Arsenal signed Maty Ryan, the recruitment staff is not a great fan of the Australian, as The Athletic reported, due to his poor underlying statistics. Arsenal should try to sign a homegrown keeper who is young and has the potential to replace Leno from the helm in a few years’ time.
Freddie Woodman and David Raya top our list.
Right-back: As we covered before, Arsenal need to make a bold decision regarding Hector Bellerin. Even though he has a chance of getting better after that horrific injury in 2019, the Gunners should not weigh their future success on “mere chance.” Tough decisions need to be made when they should.
The Arsenal board, for too long, have made the same mistake by keeping the players for too long and then seeing them leave for free. A player in the mould of Kieran Tierney, who can defend but also can charge up and down the field would be ideal.
Tariq Lamptey and Achraf Hakimi tops our list.
Right-sided CB: Just six months ago, Arsenal could have featured in a six-a-side game by playing only their center-backs. Such was the condition at the Emirates that they started the current campaign with seven center-backs on their books. Contract termination of Sokratis and Mustafi have eased the weight in that position, but Arsenal have some crucial decisions to make come the summer of 2021. Whether to hand David Luiz a contract extension? Whether to keep hold of Calum Chambers?
Dinos Mavrapanos has been continually impressing the club with his performances in Germany, and reports emerged this week that he will be given a chance to prove his worth. But before all that, even the Arsenal fans who are not that ardent would hope that something works out between William Saliba and Arsenal.
Ibrahima Konate and William Saliba tops our list.
Second choice LB: Reports emerged last month that Arsenal were pushing hard to sign either one of Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand or Crystal Palace’s Patrick Van Aanholt. But The Athletic’s David Ornstein was quick to dismiss such speculation. He reported that Arsenal never considered either of them as “serious option” and believed they had the cover “for the meantime.”
It is widely believed that The Gunners will try to acquire a young left-back with vast potential, who will learn from Tierney by being an understudy and who might eventually take the reigns if the Scotsman departs.
Josh Doig and Tyrick Mitchell tops our list.
Center Forward: Arsenal will be on the lookout for a center-forward even though they are currently well stocked in that department. The aim of the club would be to tie down the prodigal Folarin Balogun. But with the time ticking and both the parties failing to agree on something, it looks likely that the British-American will depart the Emirates this summer. Moving on, it is also discussed in various English newspapers that Arsenal would listen to offers for Eddie Nketiah and Alexander Lacazette come this summer. Whatever happens, it will be intriguing to look out for.
Patson Daka and Folarin Balogun tops our list.
Is that a fair assessment, Gooners?
Yash Bisht @Arsenal09