In the next transfer window, Mikel Arteta needs to strengthen few problematic areas in the squad to challenge the Premier League boys. Check out what they are.
Mikel Arteta has been credited with bringing positivity to Arsenal after replacing Unai Emery on 20 December 2019 as their first-team manager. He has been credited in uniting the squad and making them stay compact in defence following the disappointing last few months under Emery. Arteta’s Arsenal ended his first season on a high with a victory in the FA Cup final and qualified for the Europa League.
Great things were expected from the Spanish coach this season. His earlier three-year stint under Pep Guardiola as an assistant coach for Manchester City only contributed to the growing expectations from the fans. Arsenal, however, struggled to kick on from their positive ending to last season. They have shown glimpses of their ability in the victories against Chelsea and Manchester United, but struggled to maintain a long consistent run. New additions are a must for Arsenal to challenge the big boys in the league.
Let’s look at the areas Arsenal need to improve in the upcoming transfer window:
The club made a shrewd signing in Thomas Partey last summer. The Ghanaian midfielder brought discipline in the central part of the pitch. He is good at disrupting opposition’s play and winning back the ball to maintain their shape in the middle.
However, he is not an attacking player, neither is his partner Granit Xhaka. Dani Ceballos, on loan from Real Madrid, has also failed to provide the creative spark from the midfield. They need a forward-thinking player like Houssem Aouar, who was reportedly on Arsenal’s radar last summer, to move the ball quickly to forward players.
French forward Alexandre Lacazette is out of contract in 2022. Despite his impressive form of late, the striker turns 30 in May. It’s up to Arteta to extend his contract or cash in and add a bit of youth up front.
Among the other forwards, Eddie Nketiah has failed to step up as hoped this season. It is no surprise to see Arsenal struggle in front of goals this season. It is imperative for the Gunners to sign a reliable striker to play alongside or as a back-up for their star centre forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Depth in full-back
Kieran Tierney has cemented his place on Arsenal’s left in no time after joining the club in 2019. He is as good as any left-back in the Premier League on a given day. But, Arsenal need a cover for his regular injury niggles. Portuguese right-back Cedric Soares has been shifted to the left-side and has impressed in recent weeks.
However, Soares’ preferred role is on the right of defence. Switching him to left leaves Hector Bellerin playing on the right, a player who has been inconsistent so far this season. Left-backs Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt could be few such options Arsenal might look to buy in the summer as back-up to Tierney.