Arsenal had a busy transfer window this summer which continued till the last day. They signed Takehiro Tomiyasu on deadline day alongside the other summer arrivals which include Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga and Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal notably have spent more than any other Premier League club this summer, ahead of Man United, Man City and Chelsea. Meanwhile, the Gunners have also succeeded in lightening their wage bill as the likes of Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba have left on loan while Willian and David Luiz have left Emirates permanently. Meanwhile, the transfer of Joe Willock to Newcastle brought them some return, but they still are the highest net spenders in the league this season.
With the transfer window officially closed now, Mikel Arteta has possibly got enough tools to work with the team until the end of this season. So, let’s have a look at how the Gunners will line up with their best possible eleven.
Arsenal took care of their defensive department in this window with goalkeeping and defence reinforcements. For the GK position, Aaron Ramsdale was brought in as a successor to Leno, who is being linked with a move away. Though he won’t be starting the games this early, as the season catches its pace, Ramsdale might replace the German shot-stopper as the No.1 at Emirates.
Arsenal will be lining up with three defenders in the backline. Gabriel Magalhaes will hold the central position while new arrival Ben While and veteran Kieran Tierney joining the Brazilian on either side to form a formidable partnership at the heart of Arsenal’s defence. Let’s hope Tierney can stay fit this season and contribute to the team’s success. Similarly, there’s a lot of pressure on Ben White to justify the price tag of £50m.
As Mikel Arteta plays wide wing-backs to balance the attacking and defensive transitions, we have placed Bukayo Saka on the LWB position & Maitland-Niles as the RWB. Saka is one of the biggest emerging talents at Emirates, big performances are expected of him whenever he comes on for Arsenal. Meanwhile, Lokonga might also feature from time to time on the left.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was on the verge of leaving the club after failing to make it into Mikel Arteta’s team, but it is now understood that the manager has decided to include the versatile player in his plans for the season, who has been very professional whenever been called upon.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will remain at Arsenal after Arteta told him today that he'll be part of his plan for this season. 🔴⚪️
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) August 31, 2021
For the holding midfield positions, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are the chosen ones. The Ghanaian had a mixed debut season at Arsenal, which was plagued with injuries and inconsistent performances, but the new season might see Partey performing to his true potential.
Granit Xhaka was involved in a transfer saga this summer, linking him with a move to AS Roma. However, the player signed a new contract which will keep him at the club till the summer of 2025. Despite questions being raised on the player’s commitment to the club, Mikel Arteta considers him as a crucial player for his team. The Gunners have also brought in Lokonga for the defensive midfield position and he will be a good rotational player for either Xhaka or Partey.
The attacking midfield position is where the fighting for a starting role will take place. It will be tough for Arteta to choose between Emile Smith-Rowe and Martin Odegaard. The manager has a great amount of liking towards Odegaard and he was his primary target all summer. Meanwhile, ESR recently penned down a new five-year contract.
In my opinion, Smith Rowe is the player to go forward with. Like Saka, he is also one of the emerging youngsters at the club. He played a total of 20 league games last season and most of the time, the responsibility of creating chances fell upon him. He certainly would like to continue on his good form this season as well.
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Up top, we have Nicolas Pepe who had a decent 20/21 campaign. The Ivorian forward netted 10 goals in 29 league appearances last season, showing signs of his true potential and this season might be the one that brings out the best in him.
Rounding off the attacking department, we have captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the talisman of the Arsenal team. Although he failed to hit his previous form and was largely unimpressive last season, there’s no doubting the player’s talent and abilities. The Gabonese striker needs to find his gear and fast as Arsenal have already made the worst possible start to the Premier League campaign with 3 losses in 4 games.
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