Do We Need a Left Winger?
There should be no problem with the numbers we have at the wide positions. Four players can play at the left side and three can play on the right wing. Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pépé, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, and even Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ozil can all play down the sides. So why the links to Said Benhrama? Why does it feel as though we still need one more player on the left side of our attack?
This summer, it is very possible that one of Aubameyang or Lacazette will be gone. In either case, Gabriel Martinelli would most likely be given a defined role through the middle. Nelson is more likely to be our backup option for Pépé on the right going forward because of Bukayo Saka who has played left-wing all his life. Therefore, our best options on the left going into next season would be Saka and Nelson. Both of them have only 5 seasons of topflight football in between them and their combined ages won’t be up to 40 years. Essentially, we’d be weaker on the left side than anywhere else.
So that’s the explanation for the Benrahma links. We still need an established player on the left while Saka and Nelson continue their development. They are both not complete products yet, with neither able to play consistently and productively in a full Premier League season. For all of their potential and talent, they are still kids.
But what to do? It’s pretty obvious that one of them would eventually end up taking the spot. But what about before that? Should we spend any of our minimal transfer budget on a capable winger who will probably be benched in the nearest future by either of Saka or Nelson?