As we all know by now, Arsenal have a lot of work to do this summer. The more reasonable among us accept that there is no time, bandwidth or cash to do everything that needs to be done in one transfer window. Arsenal’s squad won’t be complete in September, there will still be holes in the bucket and there could be players still dressed in red and white next season that many of us would consider consumables in the long run. term.
I thought I was going to see which particular boxes Arsenal might be able to pave the way for future transfer windows. A lot of my picks are influenced by the fact that in my opinion creating more chances, scoring more goals and keeping the opposition under pressure should be the priorities this summer. Here are a few areas that I think the club could afford to skate for a year if necessary.
I have always been extremely skeptical about the idea of buying “backup” players. Like movie sequels, success stories in this category are minimal and failures numerous. Generally speaking, I think these roles should be given to young players, although I accept that in this scenario there doesn’t appear to be a young left-back capable of playing the role in the U-23 for the moment.
If you have to recruit this kind of player externally, I think it should be a young player. Senior players wishing to sign for a club to play the role of deputy usually look after their pension. This is how Lucas Perez and Cedric Soares are. If you can’t find a young man to clean Kieran Tierney’s boots, I think the best way is to reuse another player on the team. (Or Arsenal could just keep Sead Kolasinac for the final year of his contract if he lacks any suitors.)
Arteta tried this in the spring with Granit Xhaka when he really should have tried it with Bukayo Saka. I think Arsenal can afford to make Bukayo Saka their substitute left-back, not least because they have enough depth in the wide positions to cover his move. Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe can all play wide positions pretty well and they are all good at football.
Sometimes, as fans, I think we’re too obsessed with who our back-up players are. Manchester City and Chelsea can buy two top players at each position, Arsenal and Liverpool, for example, cannot. When Liverpool won the Premier League and the Champions League, their replacement for Andy Robertson at left-back was James Milner.
During the Invincibles season, Arsenal’s right-back for Lauren was Kolo Touré, who was also a top-choice center-back. When Lauren was not available, Touré moved to the right-back and Pascal Cygan entered the team in the heart of the defense. Teams like Arsenal and Liverpool have to bet on a core of 15-16 players and if important players get injured, well, you’re pretty fucked up anyway, man. Your rusty save
If Arsenal don’t reach their goals next season, it won’t be for lack of a Ryan Bertrand. Saka is the best facsimile there is for Tierney in the squad, he’s also very, very good at playing left-back and left-back is still a very important attacking position in Arteta’s system. Let’s not waste a lot of money on another Cedric Soares. Have Saka as your backup left-back and move into more needed positions.
Why can’t Ainsley Maitland-Niles be one of Arsenal’s midfielders?
The future of Mohammed Elneny and Granit Xhaka at Arsenal seems far from certain and the former is likely to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations in January in any case. Dani Ceballos is gone and we still don’t know if Joe Willock is still part of the club’s plans. Thomas Partey will also miss part of next season to represent Ghana at CAN.
Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi already have one foot out of the door. The midfield closet could look very bare very quickly. Ainsley Maitland-Niles spent a few months on loan at West Brom, avoiding advances from Southampton and Leicester to be a full-back, so he could play in his role as central midfielder.
I haven’t seen enough Maitland-Niles in midfield to proclaim him the next to come in that position – but neither have I seen enough evidence to suggest he can’t play the role. Obviously, a lot will depend on what the player himself wants and with two years on the contract and a loan under his belt, sending him off makes a lot of sense.
I wonder if he could be persuaded to stay one more season, given that he will be part of the central midfielder’s rotation. Maybe he stays and doesn’t impress there, in which case Arsenal can sell him next summer without devaluing his value too much (a good 24-year-old England player will still be in demand).
He could really impress and cement his status. Granted that AMN remains an Arsenal player seems unlikely, but if even three de Torreira, Guendouzi, Xhaka or Willock join Ceballos through the exit door, then the space is certainly there. If Arsenal don’t have time to buy more than a central midfielder in response, keeping Maitland-Niles for one more season with the carrot of the opportunity to fight for a midfield place could be an elegant solution.
Calum Chambers will change their mind?
Speaking of unlikely redemption stories, Calum Chambers had a surprise overlapping run past Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares in the right-back lunge last season. Bellerin doesn’t look like he wants this Arsenal world as Cedric is unlikely to find many suitors willing to take on a 30-year-old with his current salary for the next three years.
I remain very skeptical about the idea that Arsenal can advance Cédric. As I said earlier in the article, when you sign a deal like the one he signed at 29, with the understanding that you will be a replacement, you will likely be happy with that scenario. (And he has the right to be, it’s his contract and he doesn’t have to tear it up at my whim).
Since I wrote this article on Chambers in May, it has become clear that the club have a one-year option on their contract and there is a possibility that Arsenal will exercise it and take another year and more. large sample size to judge Calum as a long-term right-back option.
When he entered the squad at the end of last season, he certainly didn’t turn out to be a hindrance. No one is saying he’s Cafu reincarnated, but he’s not the slightly cooler twin of Stephan Lichtsteiner either. The signing of a first-class right-back at Bellerin is totally in the ‘nice to have’ category, while the replenishment of midfield and number 10 positions (and Willian’s offload) are in the column “Essential”.
Arsenal can do more than survive next season, in my opinion, if Calum Chambers is their starting right-back, Bukayo Saka is the substitute left-back and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a central midfielder option. All of these scenarios are economically sound in that they cost Arsenal nothing and offer a set of tested solutions that have worked fairly well in the past.
Nothing annoys a rebuild like wasting money on crappy gamers or conjuring up solutions rushed by a mistaken desire to have a hot body. Arsenal have made this mistake time and time again in recent years (ALEX RUNARSSON) and all that happens is you get stuck with players you don’t want. Right-back, substitute left-back and a third or fourth choice central midfielder are not urgent priorities, in my opinion, given the needs in other areas.
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