For the first time in 25 years, Arsenal finished the season outside the top 6 and essentially missed out on a spot in Europe. Arteta started his Arsenal managerial career on a high note, winning the FA cup and the community shield, but the momentum has waned ever since. New manager bounce??
Arsenal fans would like to think otherwise. There has been a pressing need for a rebuild at the club for a while and while it can be said to have started, Arsenal need to do a whole lot to get back to being top dogs again.
Recruitment plays a big role in football success and Arsenal seem to have figured it out this time with the swiftness with which they have concluded deals this summer and here’s a peek into what to expect from the various departments
Selling Emiliano Martinez just a season ago is looking like a very bad decision by Arsenal, considering the current situation they have found themselves in.
There are talks of Bernd Leno leaving the club and that the club will listen to the right offers. This leaves Arsenal in a very precarious situation, especially as Martinez was willing to stay if he could be guaranteed first-team football.
The Argentine has gone on to have a wonderful season at Aston Villa, keeping 15 clean sheets for the WestMidlanders.
He also went on to play a very crucial role in his country’s Copa America triumph and this saw Arsenal fans question Arteta’s Man management skills on social media.
Shot stoppers like Andre Onana, Aaron Ramsdale, and even Matt Ryan have been linked to Arsenal but nothing concrete has developed and time is fast running out.
Arteta’s system needs a goalkeeper that is comfortable on the ball and Bernd Leno fits into that role perfectly. However, Arteta has shown to be big on players and staff buying into his philosophy and being willing to play for the club.
He has wasted no time in showing the exit door to those that have felt otherwise so it is looking like the search for a goalkeeper might be less about ability.
In any case, it is one search that needs to be conducted swiftly if Arsenal harbor any hopes of putting the woes of last season to bed.
The departures of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopuolos last term have left a void in the Arsenal backline, albeit one they can and have easily filled.
The purchase of Ben White from Brighton is a statement of intent, one that shows the direction of the club and the prospective combination of the English man and Gabriel Magalhaes is one that should have Arsenal fans very confident ahead of the season.
Also, the much-needed cover for Kieran Tierney at LB has finally been signed in Nuno Tavares so there is much to be excited of about Arsenal, defensively.
Granit Xhaka’s influence at Arsenal cannot be overstated. From playing almost every game under Arsene Wenger to getting the Captain’s armband under Unai Emery to being the fulcrum of Arteta’s style, he has been a key figure in the North London club.
Therefore, leaving his dream club after four years of very active service will definitely not have been easy but the discomfort will be felt more by Arsenal.
Albert Sambi Lokonga might turn out to be a bargain but filling the big shoes of Granit Xhaka might be one too heavy a task. Xhaka was a leader at Arsenal, arguably the strongest voice in the dressing room and his leadership skills will be sorely missed at an Arsenal side that is already lacking leadership.
There are also strong links and even talks of a submitted bid to Leicester for James Maddison and if this can be wrapped up quickly, it might turn out to be a dream transfer window for the gunners. A Midfield combination of James Maddison, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Thomas Partey is a dream.
Arsenal scored 89 goals in all competitions last season and while this is a good statistic, it does not paint the real picture – Arsenal need more in attack.
Arteta’s style requires a target man to help the whole attack come alive. Fluidity in the attacking third is still lacking at Arsenal and it is something Arteta will have to fix as fast as possible if he hopes to achieve any form of success this term.
There have been talks of Tammy Abraham coming in and while there is nothing concrete to this, Arsenal will need to offload one or two forwards first.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexander Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah, Folarin Balogun are all strikers vying for one or two spots in that attack and it would make no economic sense to add another attacker to this list without selling first.
The clock is ticking fast and Arsenal will have to fix up as quickly as they can if they will be looking to make it back to Europe.
A top 6 finish. Especially as there will be no European distraction. Arsenal cannot afford to miss out on continental football for another season.