Arsenal, under the new reign of Unai Emery, have seen a lot of changes in the past months. Despite such tweaks, the Gunners’ defense is still thoroughly criticised for being weak and support lacking pace. Hence, it doesn’t come as news when Emery starts the search for a new winger.
The Londoners have not only been lacking in width and pace both in attack and defense, even after having a star studded squad with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to name a few, the absence of a natural winger has been pretty evident since the beginning of the season.
With players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck sprinting towards the goal, it is necessary to give them options and assists to attack without leaving the central defense wide open. The closest that we have for a winger is Alex Iwobi and Hector Bellerin – the latter of which hasn’t played in an attacking role since his early youth days.
Iwobi,though fast, has poor crossing ability, decision making skills and finishing. Bellerin, on the other hand, though had the potential to become an amazing winger, lacks the experience to be assigned that role anymore.
The Spaniard proved this against West Ham where he created two goals but failed to shield the ball from the opposition attackers. But as soon as he did, he could be seen sprinting towards the goal with full force – which, at times, exposed the defense.
The manager and the higher-ups at the Emirates will have to shell out no less than £50 million for an effective forward. With the youngster Reiss Nelson out on loan at Hoffenheim the newly appointed boss is left with with two options – either buy a winger or experiment Bellerin as a wideman and give Stephan Lichtsteiner a starting role at right-back.
It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the La Masia find would be a stunning winger if given proper coaching and a chance, while taking away his defensive responsibilities to give him a wide and free game.
Though, if the Emirates outfit do look for a wideman outside of the team, it just might be one of these 5:
- Ousmane Dembele: The English giants were reportedly in talks with Barcelona to bring the winger home, but the deal would only go forward if the Spanish side give up their desire of getting Ramsey in exchange.
- Raheem Sterling: With the arrival of Riyad Mahrez at Manchester City, and Sterling reportedly stalling on signing a new deal, Emery just might have a chance to bring Sterling back down south.
- Leon Bailey:The Jamaican youngster has 9 goals and 6assists off the 30 matches he played to his name in the last season and is the best emerging star of the previous season. The Sun reported that Bailey wants to leave BayArena for the Premier League, with Chelsea and Arsenal keen on his services. The 20-year-old is especially known for his speed and accuracy which would benefit our team offensively.
- Julian Brandt: The 22-year-old who is said to be one of the best youngest players of Europe, has already played 172 matches for Bayer Leverkusen and is said to be top-notch with the balls and is known for creating as well as scoring goals.
- Wilfried Zaha: In just 29 appearances for Crystal Palace, Zaha has scored 9 goals and assisted 5 times already. This clearly shows what he is capable of in the future. The North Londoners will have to compete with Chelsea, Spurs and Dortmund to bring home this jewel of a player.
The urgent need for a wide forward is quite evident to the managers, fans and critics alike. It is just a matter of time to see where the new gaffer will take things from here.
Personally, I think, Bellerin should officially be made the winger of the team with Lichtsteiner playing as fullback. This would not only save the already-exhausted budget but will also give the Spanish international the chance to discover and establish a new style of play for him, one more suited to him.