Addressing squad depth for a top4 challenge by Konstantin Mitov
Well, lovely Arsenal people, the new season is coming in fast and we will again open the campaign, this time away at Crystal Palace. Our recent results there haven’t been great, and I really want to avoid a repeat of last year’s dreadful start.
For that, we have to be prepared to have our best 11, and a decent bench to help if things don’t go to plan. So far we’ve signed 4 players, but only Gabriel Jesus is one that definitely starts and improves the squad.
Last year we were really hurt by the injuries of Thomas Partey and Tierney, and reports are Zinchenko can play both positions but I really feel left back is where he will be deployed.
Against the potential threat of the likes of Zaha I want a player ready to go and I’m not sure where Kieran is with his match fitness, so for me the Ukrainian goes straight in.
The biggest improvements are made in the weakest links and for me the midfield still needs to be addressed. Xhaka let us down multiple times again last season. We signed Fabio Vieira, who still has some problem with his foot, and I’m worried, we’ll be one Partey injury from another crisis, in a season with European football included.
It baffles me that we haven’t coughed up 25 millions for Tielemans. The deal makes perfect sense, but I think we’ll rely on backup from big Mo. Don’t get me wrong, I like Elneny, but as a squad player (and you do need those). But to dominate midfield in premier league games I want a solid partner for Partey and maybe someone with an eye for goal. I suspect Zinchenko will be considered as an option, but I don’t like this versatility where one player can play anywhere.
Remember Xhaka at left back? Players should have a defined role at the squad. One they understand and are most familiar with. Thats why a CM is a must for me.
Also what about right back? Tommiyasu is yet to feature, so it’s most likely Cedric. Facing Zaha? It leaves a little doubt in my mind, and if we want to make the top 4, we must eradicate such doubts.
Another winger would be lovely as well. Too much pressure fell on Saka last term and this time it will be the same. Pepe will likely be moved on, and there are no real alternatives. Maybe we can try Jesus on the wing and Eddie in the middle, but again, a Pepe replacement, proper winger is what I’d go for. We did sign Marquinhos, but I doubt he’ll be used very much. Besides the point is to take some responsibility off the young players shoulders, not pour more.
Also up front, say Gabi J picks up an injury. Is Nketiah alone enough for the league, cups and Europa? What about some height from the bench, to whip crosses? An Ivan Toney kind of signing would be perfect.
In an ideal world a RB, a winger, a striker and a central midfielder will be perfect and give me the confidence to definitely make the top 4. No ifs and buts. Champions league football should be a must for this season. Let’s see how it goes.