Why Arsenal don’t need Tielemans, Neves, or ANY new midfielders this summer

Why we don’t need any midfield reinforcements by Vinod

The transfer market has very nearly kicked off and talks have been going on for a while now, but Arsenal haven’t made a signing yet. Yes, we are in negotiations with Sao Paulo winger Marquinhos and I think he is an exciting prospect. I am sure he is one of the future superstars and we have unearthed a gem, but that is my personal opinion. Besides that we haven’t had much going our way.

Our striker targets like Victor Osihmen and Lautaro Martinez are not realistically possible. But  we still have Gabriel Jeśus and Sassuollo striker Scamacca in our radar which are very good options.If we can get Gnabry and one of the two strikers we are pretty much set in the forward department. Personally I would choose Scamacca because he can hold up the play, and if Gnabry is incoming he would be the ideal choice ahead of Jeśus who plays off the last defender which will not allow Gnabry to advance forward.

And coming into midfield we have to say Partey is world class. Xhaka and Elneny are not. And many people have been calling out for a reinforcement in that area. We have been linked with Tielemens, Bissouma, Ruben Neveś, Douglas Luiz, who are all good players, but they are at the same level as Xhaka and we don’t know if they pair up with Partey as well as Xhaka does. So, buying any of them makes no sense to me. We can’t buy just for the sake of buying. Xhaka and Elneny have been a great pair too. So the question would be all about adding depth to the squad.

Even if we find a world class player better than Xhaka, we have to be sure if he fits in the team. We don’t need a playmaker like Gundogan because if he is dictating the play it will affect the game of Ødegaard. Our front four has been fluid with Ødegaard at the heart of the things and we do not want that to change.

What we need is a box to box central midfielder who can keep the ball and keep the moves ticking. And luckily we have a certain Charlie Patino who is perfectly the player who we are looking for. Yes, he is still a kid but he can chip in with a few performances from the bench. Nobody thought Saka or Smith Rowe would do so well. So why not Patino. And if we think it is too much of a burden on his young shoulders, we still have Sambi who did well whenever he played.

So now we have Xhaka and Partey as starters and Elneny as an experienced player who has proved himself and we have really good youngsters who perfectly fill in the slots and we would have five midfielders at central midfield position.

So that is my analysis on how we should approach the transfer window. If we can find a really good young talent we should obviously go for it, but if we can’t, we can keep faith in our youngsters Patino and Sambi.


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  1. To not sign better players because they might affect current players is a bit of a ridiculous notion.

    Mentioning the young players is great but with our zero rotation policy Patino will barely see a blade of grass.

  2. Not to sign players this season is an absurdity. The opinion of the article writer can only be welcomed if we are not chasing top4 next season. Arteta had to release some dead woods and buy some quality youthful players to make top5. With Arsenal thin squard and playing in Europe it is unequivocally a must to add 3 or 4 quality players to the team. Experience has showed last season that tarlented accademy players not enough to compete in a difficult EPL full of stars in other team. If Arsenal must compet next season buying players it’s no argument except Edu, Arteta and Kroenke are mediocre.

    1. So we have a “thin squad” but still need to get rid of “deadwood” – so what have we spent over £200,000,000 on in the last couple of years that included a minimum of seven new players?

      We saw exactly what happened when we let players go out on loan, gave them away or actually sold one (!!!) and yet some are still advocating even more departures.
      MA has shown his trust in Xhaka and Elneny, by giving them new contracts and we need one more signing in that area – Bissouma would be perfect in my opinion.

      With Saliba coming home, the need for a LB is paramount and, apart from that, we need a forward who can score goals, such as Jesus.

      So for me, keep what we have and sign three new players in the areas I have identified… then see how we compete in the four competitions we have in front of us.

      1. I’m kinda with you but if Xhaka signs a new contract or isn’t sold then I think you need to scrub out the additional midfielder as we have too many.

        Elneny can cover Partey and Xhaka, if both are injured you still have Lokonga and AMN (if he still at the club) Odegaard is covered by ESR and vice versa. Partey and Xhaka are undropable and if fit will play the majority of EPL games. Europa will be Elneny and Lokonga. So the midfield links I’m ignoring as I just can’t see it happening.

        LB cover is dependent also on AMN if he stays he will be also asked to cover both the full back positions as he is capable with the additionof Cedric and Tavares. The phrase ‘Jack of all trades but master of none’ springs to mind and am surprised we haven’t learnt form our experience with the OX!?

        Whole heartedly agree on the front position but something isn’t sitting right with me with Jesus… I just don’t think he is the type of player that fits Arteta’s system and is much of the same of what we already had/have. I can see him and Martinelli fighting for the left hand inverted striker slot, but it only works if you have an out and out center forward. I’m just hoping it isn’t Nketiah as that isn’t his strength

        I was imagining a more of Giroud, Lukaku and Kieffer Moore type of player so we have something to hit and Saka, Martinelli, ESR and Odegaard can play off.

        1. Take your views on board NB although I think we will need to have coverage everywhere, considering the four tournaments we are in.
          Your point regarding AMN is excellent and we could save money there, if Mikel sees him in his future plans.
          The only thing that does nag at me is, if we do sign Jesus, are we going to try and walk the ball into the net, while trying to create the perfect goal once again?

          1. I think you have just highlighted my point Ken1945.

            If you think back when our backs against the walls under MA

            Season 1: Go wide and cross to nobody who could dominate aerialy.

            Season 2: Use the CF to displace and bully defenders to create space so the wingers could either cut inside for a shot or hit the byline for a pull back. Laca didn’t have the stamina and Nketiah didn’t have the physicality.

            The above isn’t Jesus’s game either who plays very similar to Nketiah who will sit on the last man and run into space or be in the right place at the right time.

            Now unless MA changes his thinking of how to utilise the front line I can only see a flat track bully of a center forward that is capable of my points above. Unfortunately Jesus isn’t what I had in mind. (Good player though)

            Agree about the upgrades, unfortunately we are where we are so I wouldn’t be getting my hopes up unless there is an absolute fire sale at the club. We have bought 2 Americans, Saliba is coming back and there is the south American kid that we are at war with at wolves so as much as it pains me to say I think we might get one additional cf and Nketiah and Balogun will be the back ups. If it is Jesus then again there won’t be a Plan B when it all goes arse over tit.

            But I have been proven wrong on occasions 😉

  3. our front four wasnt fluid against southampton, brighton or crystal palace which ultimately cost top 4 spot.
    tielemans hasnt had a freat season but is an upgrade on xhaka and elneny, as is bissouma.
    we have been weak in centre midfield for a long long time and if partey stays fit he is one cog in fixing that, but needs better option along side him.
    centre forward and centre midfield is the two areas they have to strengthen to stand any chance of progressing. i think defensively we are ok, although would like better back up at right back.

  4. We do need another AM to rotate with Odegaard and Smith Rowe. I would take Tielemens or some one else but for no more than 30m. Tielemans is on 33k p/w at Leicester so may be we can offer him 75k which is quite low for a player of his calibre. Jesus for 40m or less makes sense and is less than we paid for 50m Laca, 60m Auba + 72m Pepe. With Auba 350k p/w and Laca 182k p/w Xhaka 100k plus Bellerin 100k Torreira 75k .
    Total salaries freed up. 800k p/w.
    Bissouma? 75k
    Tielemens 75k
    Eddie another 50k up to 100k p/w
    Saliba (up from 36k p/w) to 100k pw.
    Jesus 200k,
    New RB 50k
    Total 500k p/w out of 800k
    15mill surplus go toward a new purchase.

  5. With another probable 12 EL games we will have 12 more Thursday/ Sunday’s so this is where Turner Soares Trusty Niles Nelson Holding Tavarez Lokonga Patino Azeez Balogun Nketiah Pepe Lopez will get their game time also resting the PL starters.

  6. If Saliba is to be given game time then it would make sense to play a back three and two wing-backs.This would nominally mean that Arsenal would not have to recruit too heavily in midfield and in my mind Bissouma would fit nicely into this or any other system…possibly rotatating in and out with Partey and depending upon the opposition would give Arsenal an imposing double pivot in front of a back four when required.
    Otherwise AMN could possibly be persuaded to take on the role of a left or right sided wing back to cover Tommy or Tierney.If not Arsenal seem to have a couple of different options in mind.
    Overall this means that most of Arsenal’s financial resources can be directed towards a much needed centre forward capable of scoring 20 plus goals a season and making Arsenal a real attacking threat.This should not mean being hoodwinked into buying someone who struggled to score goals for one of the most prolific teams in European football.Napoli are apparently interested in Torreira once again so surely a part exchange deal could be done for Osihmen.Yes I know he’s over-priced but this appears to be the case as far as almost any player is concerned at the moment.The problem..of course…is that Arsenal have already “crashed and burned” over their decision to invest in Pepe…who has proved to be completely unsuited to the Premier League.But no purchase is without risk unless you are sponsored by a Nation State like Citeh and Newcastle.

        1. And he’s available but likely to sign full time for Forest. Only seen him in two games but he was MOTM both times by far and thought he looked even better than Tomiyasu. Very surprised that no other PL clubs appear to be interested.

          1. Reason I asked is because Tomi is not a wing back at all. So if we play a back 3 with White, Saliba and Gabriel then Tomi would either be bench or be playing a position he’s not good at.

            1. Tomi would probably rotate with Saliba @ RCB.

              He has played that position in the past for both
              club and country.

  7. I don’t recall a game last season where our midfield dominated a game … yes partey is world class when on song and odegaard is shaping up to be a top quality play maker but the rest is lower level epl at best .. the idea that we can make do with xhaka or elneny and don’t need quality there is a sad reflection of the willingness of fans and management to see consolidation of top 6 position as acceptable for the club .. I see man utd are pursuing Frankie de jong exactly the kind of player we need

    1. Partey can be very good in some games, but he is nowhere near world class. Our midfield has been so poor for so long that Partey just looks world class compared to the rest.

  8. Vinod, Sorry! But I just can’t agree with your logic. I understand, “if it ain’t broke down fix it”, but our midfield is far from perfect and the four pillars who have been holding up can’t be relied upon to put in consistently good performances

  9. Don’t know where your brain is at? Midfield is definitely a place we need two quality players at least. Hopefully Yves Bissouma and Youri Tielemans and maybe the classy Zinchenko too. Then with Gabriel Jesus we could dominate games and challenge the top three. To stagnate waiting and waiting to see what very junior inexperienced players are like is stasis. Week on week we have all the young players we need, already playing, in what is a very young a team. Players who are just about 25 years old with good experience, but years left career wise can help make us become a dominant force. I’m not a fan of this article at all.

  10. I cannot find much at all to agree in Vinods piece When I read that he rates Xhaka and seems content with Elneny , frankly, he lost me straightaway!
    But it is good that JA is now finding more and more new writers and more still are desired. All opinions are valid- though some seem to think I only like thosepeople with which I agree. That is not true.

    I can challenge any writer if I choose and often I do choose. But that does not mean I disrespect their ability, PROVIDED THAT real thought has gone into their writing .

    The ones I DO take issue against are those who rehash many other previous pieces andwho have nothing original or thought provoking of THEIR OWN to say.
    To be fair to Vinod, I accept his article as a valid one; I just happen to , mainly(though noy entirely,) differ on much of what he thinks!

  11. Is this article for real? Bissouma is on a different level to Xhaka. The stats for an average side prove it. You also haven’t mentioned Zinchenko who showed he is more than comfortable on the left side of midfield as well as LB. If we don’t upgrade our midfield and get a decent player to sit alongside Partey, we won’t challenge for top 4.

  12. I don’t believe Partey is such a great asset as others say. He is inconsistant in his passing, is always treading the line for a red card and often injured. Would be great to get Zinchenko but I have no faith in our lot to get him. We do need a midfield beast to stop our midfield from being bullied every match. Who? I don’t know I’m just a fan not a PL scout.

  13. Our CM has been and is absolutely atrocious. Make do with Xhaka and elneny absolutely not on this earth will we progress with just them in the middle. We need pace and power to move the ball quick from back to front and dominate games.

    Xhaka is not the answer he’s had his chance

  14. Our current midfield options are Europa League standard except Partey. We struggle to play against teams that execute the high press and also find it difficult to create chances against sides who deploy a low block. That’s why our h2h record against the other big teams is so poor, they more often than not dominate possession and territory against us and we don’t have the midfielders able to reverse that. Imho Xhaka and Elneny are backfoot players, if we want to play more on the front foot against any side we need better technical, tactical and mobile Midfielders.

  15. Tielemans, Neves and bisouma are on the same level with Xhaka? Hmm, you lost me there. Lots of childish thinking here, So introducing an untested kid is the answer to our midfield? This kid is no Fabrgas, and even fabrigas had Viera, And other world class midfielders sorounding him. The kids as good as they maybe in future, they cost us top 4 this season because of the inconsistencies associated with young players and you want us to forget about bringing quality and tested players to help them? After you will be the ones to criticise the manager for not knowing what he’s doing. Other teams are reinforcing, City just won the league with almost 100 goals and they went straight up to sign 2 strikers, going by your logic, we shouldn’t sign a striker because we have Nketiah, Martinelli and Balogun coming up so we don’t stiffle their progress. This article demonstrate a lack of ambition if the club ever does something like that.

    1. Wow…personally, I’ve been wanting to see the backs of Xhaka and El Neny since Arsene Wenger was still our manager…. Too slow in their decision making and execution …..smh.

  16. I have to disagree with Vinod on several points.
    -what we need is more quality than quantity.
    -i do believe that we need a proper DM/anchor and not a box to box midfielder as Partey could fill that role.with Saliba returning to Arsenal and the signing of Turner as a backup to Ramsdale,I would be happy with.
    – quality LB to compete with Tierney.
    – quality DM/ anchor
    -world class CF.if we do not sell anyone then everything else would be a bonus.it would also be nice to see a couple of youngsters promoted to the first squad but based on merits.

  17. The defense has taken too many goals in the just ended campaign because of poor midfield performance after Partey’s unavailability. We need 2 more midfielders (defensive and central)

  18. I just want to boost Vinods confidence as a writer By now he will have, presumably, read the many comments, nearly all of which have taken a very different view fromhis piece, esp about out midfield. I am firmly with that majority too and have already said so.
    But it can be very disheartening as a new or newish writer to have your views so ” slaughtered” by almost all, as in this thread.
    Vinod, you DO have writing skills and so I say stick to what you believe, whatevr that may be, in future articles you write, though try to develop a thick skin against the inevitable insults. Like comedians , writers can NEVER please everyone; its just fact of life!


    1. Jon,I didn’t read all the comments but by disagreeing with Vinod,my intention was not to dishearten/discourage him.i have in no way criticised him or the article but merely disagreed with him.just in case Vinod gets to read this comment,I hope to read more articles from him.


  19. I respect your opinions but IMWO Arsenal will be
    nowhere near the top 4 come seasons end if
    MA relies on Xhaka, El Neny and the Academy
    kids to play the lion shares of EPL fixtures in 22,

    Personally I would love to see the following
    additions to the midfield.

    Zinchenko….£30M (also provides cover
    and competition @ LB.

    These three would provide steel, athleticism,
    technical class and versatility to the middle of the
    pitch for collective PEANUTS and allow MA and
    Edu to go Big Game hunting for a striker, whether
    it’s Abraham, Nunez, Schick, Toney, Richarlison,
    Jesus, Scamacca, etc.

    Only my worthless 2 pennies but I think this
    would be an incredible summer haul for AFC

    Jesus… £40M

    £160M initial expenditure that could easily be offset
    by the following sales .

    Xhaka (£15M) )
    AMN (£10M)
    Pepe (£20M)
    Bellerin (£10M}
    Mari (£10M )
    Torreria (£15M)
    Leno (£10M)
    Guendouzi (£10M)
    Mavro (£3M)

    £103M recouped through player sales..

    For roughly £60M spent AFC could have this roster

    F: Toney/Jesus/Nkietah
    LW: Martinelli/ESR/Tavares
    CAM: Ode/ESR/Aouar
    RW: Saka/Jesus/Nelson
    CM: Aouar/Zinchenko/Partey
    DM: Bissouma/Partey/El Neny
    LB: Tierney/Zinchenko
    CB: Saliba/White/Gabriel/Holding/Ballard
    RB: Tomi/Soares or B Norton Cuffy
    K: Ramsdale/Turner

    1. Ace

      Good thinking. I worry Edu/Arteta will wait for deadline day, but it’s a good midfield trio you mention.

  20. I don’t agree with a single thing you said about our midfleild:
    1. Partey is not world class. Good on his day, but certainly not world class
    2. Elneny and Xhaka pairing was never great. Decent yea, but not great. They shrunk when we needed them the most.
    3. Tielemans, Neves and Bissouma are not on the same level as Xhaka, they are all better.
    4. Patino is not ready yet. Europa league stage and cup games, fine. But he’s def not ready for the league. He was awful on his first real start.
    5. What did you say about Gundogan again?

  21. you lost me as soon as you uttered these truly misguided words, “Tielemens, Bissouma, Ruben Neveś, Douglas Luiz, who are all good players, but they are at the same level as Xhaka” (LOL)

    1. People keep saying about bissouma but I don’t think we could lose both him and partey for AFCON. It’s a big hole to fill

      1. this season will be a bit of a convoluted sh** show anyways with the winterized World Cup…my comment was based solely on the ludicrous notion that Xhaka is at the same level as the above-mentioned players

  22. Lol, how ridiculous? The only way for Arsenal to not need a midfielder would be if they switched to a 343.

    Even then would Partey and Odegaard be the answer?

  23. When we play the top teams, having two defensive midfielders to break up play in the middle of the park, and consequently protect the defence, will be vital.

    Xhaka will be another year older next season, and I think we will need some younger legs in midfield for the EPL matches.

    It’ll be nice to have a Tielemans to share the number 10 role with Odegaard, but I do not think we can play both of them against the good teams.

    If Xhaka and Elneny stay, I think they will be bench players, or fodder for the cup and Europa league matches.

    We will have Saliba available like a new Defender, and Bellerin might return to back up Tommy

    So, we need a Center Forward (possibly two) and a Left back, to go along with our one or two midfielders.

    So that would be 4 or 5 new players.
    Depending how it all plays out we could sell Elneny and possibly Xhaka in the January window.

    If we could bring in:

    Zinchenko at Left Back,
    Bissouma and Tielemans in midfield
    Jesus and Scamacca (or young Simeone) up front

    We might even be able to beat Spurs next season!!!

    Next seasons possible squad:

    GK: Ramsdale, Turner
    RB: Tommy, Bellerin
    LB: Tierney, Zinchenko
    CB: White, Holding, Gabriel, Saliba
    DM: Partey, Bissouma, Elneny, Xhaka
    AM: Odegaard, Tielemans
    RW: Saka, Pepe
    LW: Nellie ESR,
    CF: Eddie, Jesus, Scamacca

    That is 23 players, plus whatever youngsters are brought up from the U23 squad.

    Hopefully Arteta will feel more comfortable rotating next season, putting less strain on Saka and Odegaard.

    Not too shabby a squad!!

  24. I dont agree with the article. The quality of Tielemans specially is way above all our current midfielders except maybe Partey. We must go in for one of the midfielders of either Tielemans or Rubin Neves or Renato Sanchez, we require quality additions.

  25. We need back up players in the middle of the park. Players who will give up atleast 80% of what Chaka and Partey give. Lack of depth has cost us this season. If we are not buying, then we should bring back Guendouzi and Torrera

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