Will Arsenal’s defence be much more solid next season? And who will be first-choice?

After the signing of the Schalke full-back Sead Kolasinac, I think it would be safe to assume that Arsene Wenger will not be signing any more defenders this summer. With Hector Bellerin all but confirming he will be staying on through his twitter account, perhaps the only defender that will be leaving this summer would be Kieran Gibbs.

So that leaves the team with a solid eight-man defence going into the new campaign. In central defence, the natural choices would be Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding and Gabriel, with the options on the left being Monreal and Kolasinac and the options on the right being Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain, if he counts as a defender under the new system.

We may also have Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik come into the first-team picture after successful loan spells and Mertesacker playing a cameo role as well. Taking all this into consideration, how will Arsenal’s defence line up next season?

Well, you’d think that our first-choice back-three would be Koscielny, Mustafi and Holding, but I expect Monreal to continue as the left-sided central defender for the Gunners. The Spaniard has been immense ever since Wenger made the shift to the three-at-the-back system and his performances surely entitle him to retain his place in the Arsenal backline.

While Holding has been nothing short of immense himself, I think Wenger will slowly ease him into the team. After conceding that he pushed the likes of Wilshere and the Ox into too many games early on, I believe the Frenchman will be a little more careful with young Holding. Out on the flanks, I would expect Kolasinac and Bellerin to be the mainstays, with the Ox playing many different roles that his versatility allows him to.

But with that being said, when you play around 60-70 games like Arsenal are expected to next season, it more or less comes down to a matter of rotation. Our defence will surely be stretched and I fully expect Wenger to constantly shake things up due to the sheer number of fixtures.

But overall, I would expect the Arsenal defence to be more solid next season, more in terms of system than personnel. I’m a firm believer in the saying that a solid defence is the foundation of a title-winning team and I think the current group of players in the current back-three system is as close to ‘solid’ as we’ve come in recent years.



  1. Get in there! ?? You busy busy Wenger You!

    Arsenal are looking to seal a double deal for Sunderland’s Swedish starlets Joel Asoro and Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka. The pair are regarded as two of Sunderland’s most promising players, and their progress has not gone unnoticed.

    Wow! I’m feeling very emotional ?

  2. There are only 4 certainties in life:



    Muff d is knee deep in muff

    Wenger was cheap again and waited until deadline day

    1. I want Wenger OUT too
      But let’s be fair
      He wasn’t cheap last season
      He spent £100 million
      He spent £65-70 million alone on Xhaka and Mustafi
      He was cheap on a forward though

      Mustafi, Xhaka, Alexis all cost over £30 million
      Ozil was over £40 million

      Again I want Wenger Out but we should be truthful with the facts

      1. I wonder who was cheap with the CF.
        We was reported to have around £100 mil to spend that year.
        As you pointed out, Xhaka and Mustafi was between £65 and £70 million.

        What is £100 million – £70 million?

        Sorry for the simple question, we all know it is £30 million.

        We had a rejected bid for Lacazette for around that.

        Wenger wanted a top CF if that is the case but the board wouldn’t cough up the extra £10 or £15 million it would have taken back then to get the CF Wenger wanted.

        If Wenger wanted Perez then why didn’t Wenger show some Wenger love to the guy? Rambo has had Wenger lovin for too long, Theo somehow managed to get the wage he has even though he is a 1 decent season then 1 bad season style of player… Wenger wanted him and look how Wenger backs him.

        If we should be truthful about the facts then shouldn’t this also be recognised?

  3. Bellerin is 1 year older than Holding, kinda surprises me that Holding will be used carefully to save injuries while Bellerin is a week in week out without question… 1 year difference.

    OP also has Monreal for LWB, Wenger has said he thinks Monreal is suited to the left side of the back 3 and is sounding like Wenger will use Seo and Gibbs as LWB, or if Gibbs is sold then I would bet on a new signing to replace Gibbs.

    Wenger said this CURRENT squad needs only 2-3 signings, Wenger has always said that if players leave then we will need to replace them, this is clearly worded in a way that can be taken in many ways. I take it to mean at first that if the board sell Alexis then of course we will need to buy a replacement but if it can apply to Alexis being sold then the logic can be used on Gibbs being sold.

    LWB: Seo and Gibbs
    LCB: Monreal and Kos? (Kos injuries are mounting up so rotation)
    CCB: Mustafi and Holding?
    RCB: Gabriel and Chambers?
    RWB: Bellerin and Ox.

    Per hasn’t been listed in above and he can be put into the CCB and pushing Mustafi or Holding onto the RCB allowing for Chambers to have another loan…
    Bielik has already said he would like to go out on loan again next season, this I think is good as we already have a volume of CB and we will benefit from Bielik getting experience playing on a regular basis.
    I also put Kos on the left side and not in the middle as he and Monreal should be able to be rotated enough to keep Kos fit for the big games… but then again Monreal done wonders against Chelsea, maybe Per communication had a big part in this?

    TBH I like our defense, I have defended them even when we was losing, I never thought that the defense was the issue but rather our CM was.

    One thing I will raise, Coquelin as a LWB.
    I am not saying Wenger will convert him if Gibbs is sold but Coquelin has had playtime as a Left Winger and although he isn’t great at going forward, he can tackle while not afraid to press the opposition while at the same time being a tidy passer of the ball.
    He did play for a brief period at the end of the year as a LWB, made the wrong choice when he got forward but is that signs of Wenger thinking about converting a player we already have as a CM into a LWB?

  4. The defence could with a certain character type added to it. Holding will be that type in time, the way he wound up Costa showed he is already ahead of his years. A tall commanding battling type would improve us. Mert showed that quality in the FA cup, but could he do that week in week out. I don’t think Arsene will give him the chance to prove it. Personally, if we are sticking to what we have, I’d like to see Mert rested for the big games and then see if he can bring back that performance. He looks good in a three man system, he looks an obstacle. Though I’d still like us to make a huge signing in defence. I agree with CC, three players added through the spine is what we need to try and reach the next level. I’d also like us to finally drop Walcott and bring in a proper wide-man. But the priority is CB CM CF, CB you’d think is probably the least concern of the three, but having the right guy in there is as big a signing as you can make.

      1. FT 2-2

        Nice goal from the Ox, that’s 3 goals he has scored similar to that. One in pre season and the other against Liverpool on our opening day defeat.

        Giroud, Xhaka and now the Ox all scoring on international duty, are you watching Wenger… You don’t have spend anymore money now.. Oh wait! .. He hasn’t even spent any YET!

  5. I do not think we actually need another defender, only if one decides or two decides to move along, if that happens i think we can go in for Maguire of Hull, but really do not see the need for any other CB.

    My concern has been our CF, Giroud and Welbeck are the only recognizable CF, with only Giroud wearing that tag of a true CF, but due to is lack of pace , he does not produce enough goals, which is also due to our wide players not truly being wide players and less precise with crosses. Welbeck who actually have the attributes of arsenal type striker is not a quality finisher, he could have been in double figures if he actually finish the chances created for him the past season with so few games. i think its the most important part of arsenal game that needs improving, all other area has small improvements, especially at the last few games of the season

  6. This season I think we can get by without buying another CB.
    Mustafi and Kos should probably play most games if not injured and the third back could be Monreal, or Holding or Per or Gabriel depending on form and opposition. If Holding becomes what we all hope he will then we will have a fearsome trio. Next year though, with Monreal, Per and Kos all aging we will probably need a quality addition to that position.
    If we are able to keep Bellerin, Sanchez and Ozil then a quality center forward and a real Defensive battling midfielder are probably enough for us to compete.

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