Would signing just Caicedo and Rice be enough for Arsenal to close the gap on Man City?

After last season’s disappointments, Arteta was tipped for a big summer transfer window—a window in which he was tipped to close the gap between his team and Manchester City.

So far, everything points to him making two mega deals for Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo to revamp his midfield for about £175 million.

After spending such a figure, would anyone expect any other marquee deal to be completed for Arteta’s most significant summer transfer window? I don’t think so.

I sound pessimistic, but Rice and Caicedo are the only marquee signings we can expect at the Emirates; the others will be by-the-way signings.

Whoever will be signed after the two is still not sure, though the right back and centre back are where all talk is about reinforcing other than the midfield. Reasonable defensive players like Sacha Boey, Ivan Fresneda, and Marc Guehi will just come to add quality to the bench. If there is a change in Arsenal’s starting 11 next season, it could be to accommodate the two, even if other deals are completed. Even so, they may end the criticism that Arteta’s bench got last season.

Arteta’s starting eleven may be Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Caicedo, Dice, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, and Jesus.

I don’t know if it is as strong as you hoped, which begs the question, “What was your 2023 dream summer transfer window?” Forget about the four positions the rumour mill suggests be reinforced. Which position did you want to see bolstered?

Darren N

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Tags Caicedo Rice


  1. Certainly not..
    We don’t need 2 at lest this season because we have Partey, Jorginho as well..
    Not sure what would happen with Sambi Lokonga..
    But to close the gap on City we need at least 4 players and Arteta need to trust his bench…
    We need either one CB or RB
    Need one CM, either Rice or Caicedo..
    And we really need one big strong and powerful CF..
    It’s not always we can play with CF like Jesus or false 9 by using Trossard..
    You also need other option as well..
    These 3 types of players are must..
    And if we allow Tierney to leave then we need another LB
    And of course replacement for Xhaka if he leaves..
    My picks would be after assuming only Xhaka will leave are

    Simikan should be available for 30 and he can play CB and RB both
    The Rice who we can get for 90
    I will go for either Yousuf En-Nesyeri or Mitrovic who can give us the option to play more direct at times and I will go for Maddison who could play in Xhaka’s position or even Odegaard’s position


    1. We may NOT have either Partey, or Xhaka.

      Signing these two will just get us back to square 1.

      In addition Jorginho (or Elneny is NO replacement for either of these two.

  2. Arsenal needs rice caicedo left back right back centre half and striker to complete arteta,s project

  3. No. All UCL semi-finalists have at least one target man in their starting line-up. Adding two DMs won’t improve our hold-up play and won’t win the ball from the aerial duels in the final-third

    Rice is like an English version of Xhaka, without his amazing left foot. But his height will help us a lot to defend and attack in set-pieces

    Romano just said Arsenal had several positive discussions with West Ham and Rice’s entourage, so an official bid will be expected soon. Caicedo is more willing to do the dirty work and to roughen the opponents up, but he won’t help us beat the homegrown quota

    1. What surprises me is, Rice and Caicedo spent better than our present midfielders of Partey , Jorginho, Xhaka and Odegaard,

      I wish we could get Szobozlai, Havertz , Pasqueta and Vlahovic/Kane/Zaha.

      I’m sure Arteta has been protecting Smith-rowe from a long-term injury, because everytime the lad plays, he ends up on the treatment table, same way Martineli was helped back to fitness.

  4. Both players will be enough because Rice plays in three positions a CB/CDM and a CM while Caicedo is primarily a CDM he showed a good potential to play in right back in Brighton so it’s just a matter of if they sign for arsenal both are good players though both may not come

  5. Rice and Caicedo would allow Odegard to flourish further forward. Remember Odegard scored 15 goals in the league this season !!! Those two would help us massively and completely transformer our midfield. We got bullied in the middle of the park against Liverpool and City and with these two I don’t see that happening as easily. Ideally we also bring in Cancelo and Toney but if we get the two midfielders and with the contraction extensions the future is looking very bright.

  6. Arsenal need both Rice and Caicedo equally it will agreat summer if only they signed both Xhaka and Jorginho bound to leave I would like to sign Saka option to like Simon’s would say to make 3summer signings

  7. City effectively have a squad that consists of two first teams, no one else has got that and as was demonstrated at the back end of last season Arsenal are well short in terms of squad depth. Signing two quality players won’t change much, the squad will still be light next season and champions league football will increase the pressure. It doesn’t mean City are unbeatable, when Liverpool won the title they didn’t have the squad depth of City either. But it does make it very difficult.

  8. Inconsistent game management and insufficient quality in squad depth are the difference between the two clubs….so no.
    Whatever ones view of Sir Alex Ferguson he was right when he said the difference usually comes down to how many quality players a club has available towards the end of a season. Man Cities fewer injuries (despite the club being involved in more games) was a result of being able to rotate & substitute players without substantially weakening the team. Until Arsenal can replicate this , City will always have a crucial advantage.

  9. I think an RB is important because we cannot rely on Tomiyasu and we need to have White ready to fill in for Saliba should his back injury play up again. Or I would like to see Arteta shifting to a back three if needed for a change or to solidify. It’s amazing how one injury back there caused us so much grief.

    One player I would love for us to have is Toney, I think he would do quite well at the Arsenal, he’d be our answer to Haaland

  10. rice and caicedo not enough
    but i wud go for caicedo& szobozlai in midfield .
    cancelo for right& left back roles .
    white to cover saliba & gabi.



    the rest out

    note : partey & trossard can get starting roles more often.

  11. Rice and Caiciedo starting would be a massive upgrade on Partey and Xhaka, who are both good, sometimes excellent but ultimately inconsistent – the last two seasons Partey has dropped off or out in the last quarter of the season when we needed him most. Then if we lose a CB, Caiciedo can go to RB and White to CB.

    I would also love Arteta and Edu to take the risk on Rasmus Højlund because he is so different to anything else we have. Sometimes we just need a battering ram.


  12. No. Because it’s not about 11 players. It’s about having two quality players for each position. That said I think Rice and Caicedo will be better than Partey and Xhaka. Partey has a poor patch every season and I think Xhaka had his best season, unlikely to be repeated. Regarding further improvement on the first eleven, we need a top striker. Jesus is great for all his qualities, but we need someone who is more prolific IMO.

  13. We can’t bench Partey for Rice or Caicedo,
    It should be Partey and either of them,
    IMO, Szobozlai and Rice/Caicedo, Toney/Calvert Lewis/Vlahovic add Cancelo, with Balogun as Saka’s sub, Jesus on every attacking position,

    1. Is there a chance arteta’s thinking to play partey more often at RB with those two in midfield? Caicedo could also play that role potentially.

  14. I think the real point is only one of the two will be signed, not both. Whilst both are versatile players, so are the players we have in their respective positions. Also, to buy both would take an extraordinary amount of money and whilst I think we have that amount, surely foolish to spend it on somewhat similar players.

  15. Singing Rice and Caicedo won’t even fix the midfield issues at the club let alone close the gap on City.

  16. I doubt Arteta really intends to sign both rice and Caicedo. I think Caicedo is more of a back up if we dont get Rice. That said, I feel Arsenal will sign either Rice or Caicedo, a full back and a striker. We need quality additions in these 3 positions across the pitch.

  17. We don’t need to decieve ourselves, Arsenal needs two more attackers that can score goals well and two reliable defenders and three new midfield dynamos to face next season’s loaded challenging competitions confidently to cover for likely injuries and suspensions that must occur towards the end of the season that have always been a barrier to our finishing the seasons strongly and win titles.

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