Arsenal kick-off their defence of the FA cup this evening when they take on Newcastle at the Emirates, but the clash could reveal much more than that.
There is much speculation surrounding Folarin Balogun, who is currently unable to agree terms over a new deal with our side, and Eddie Nketiah, who is supposedly earmarked for a move.
While the expectation is that the latter will start, and many hope Balogun will make some form of appearance, a start for the young American could well show a statement of intent.
Balogun starting would no doubt boost any team’s attempt to sign Nketiah this month, on loan or otherwise, while showing clear intent on giving the alternative improved minutes, and could well enhance our chances of keeping the highly rated individual.
We also have plenty of rumours that claim we are eyeing an attacking midfielder this month, despite the recent emergence of Emile Smith Rowe. I can personally see Reiss Nelson given the role in behind the striker, and should he impress, he could well fill in as the back-up option to ESR moving forwards. Willian or Joe Willock could also come into the role, but I would favour Reiss personally.
The selections in goal and at left-back could also show reflection on the manager’s thinking, as should Tierney or Leno start the clash it would appear to show a distrust his other options for the role.
What other positions will you keenly be eyeing when the confirmed line-ups are announced?