When every defender is finally fit, Unai Emery and Arsenal will have quite a problem to solve. Sokratis, Saliba, Holding, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Mavropanos and possibly another addition to the Arsenal defense in the summer, means a surplus to requirements at the back.
Not to mention those just under the radar from Arsenal academy such as Mark McGuinness, Zech Medley and Joseph Olowu. Someone has to give and someone has to go, more than one in fact.
The problem is William Saliba is still on loan at Saint-Étienne and the big question is who will be his partner next season at Arsenal? There will be a clamour for Rob Holding, no doubt about that and Mavropanos could stake a claim, although he hasn’t had the impact that many thought he would at Arsenal.
Of the others, David Luiz has had his moment, shown his class or proved his worth. Sokratis is committed but is essentially a warrior without the intelligence and finesse of some of the younger players.
Then there’s Skhodran Mustafi, well let’s not dwell on the much maligned centre back but he is probably the favourite to be shipped out as soon as someone comes in with a decent offer. Calum Chambers has been a peripheral figure, who is in and then out of contention without ever really having a chance to shine.
Finally Rob Holding, many people’s future captain along with Hector Bellerin, who needs to push on and excel at this stage in his career at Arsenal.
Yet, Emery will want a mixture of youth and experience and Luiz hasn’t signed on the dotted line to be ousted after just one season, which means Sokratis or Mustafi or both may be heading out.
Dayot Upamecano continues to be linked with the gunners and if that happens, surely he and Saliba will be the preferred starting pair. All Speculation of course, but with Bellerin and Tierney, that would make quite an exciting defensive line up. We haven’t said that since the likes of Dixon, Adams, Keown and Winterburn.
Arsenal and Emery will have headache to line up the back two and in order to keep stability in the squad, he has to offload some of them and put the unnecessary ones in the transfer list with Mustafi likely to head the list at Arsenal.
Arsenal play newly promoted Sheffield United at their home ground, Bramall Lane after international break on Monday night as Premier League will resume after two weeks.