With the Arsenal faithful calling out for more transfer activity, I wanted to take a look at our current squad and the quality we have, as it seems more than likely we won’t sign anyone else before the season starts.
I chose to look at the three best players in each position, to look at our squad depth. If the player is in brackets then it means I have already mentioned them in, what I feel to be their primary position. I’ve also only allowed players to be mentioned in two positions.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech, David Ospina, Woijech Szczesny
Right Back: Hector Bellerin, Mathieu Debuchy, (Calum Chambers)
Centre Back (Right): Per Mertesacker, Calum Chambers, (Gabriel Paulista)
Centre Back (Left): Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, (Nacho Monreal)
Left Back: Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs, (Hector Bellerin)
Defensive Midfield: Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini
Central Midfield: Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere
Attacking Midfield: Mesut Ozil, (Santi Cazorla), Tomas Rosicky
Right Winger: Theo Walcott, (Danny Welbeck), (Aaron Ramsey)
Left Winger: Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Jack Wilshere)
Striker: Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, (Theo Walcott)
What’s clear is that our midfield is crowded. The sale of Lukas Podolski and release of Abou Diaby has helped, but you can understand why Arsene Wenger will want to at least sell Flamini before potentially signing any new midfielder.
We also have the likes of Serge Gnabry, Chuba Akpom and Damian Martinez that aren’t mentioned. Martinez will more than likely be our third choice when, as anticipated, one of Szczesny or Ospina leave the club. Both Gnabry and Akpom could be kept as further options in depth or they could, as I hope they do – go on loan.
The central midfield position is where there is most competition, of the highest quality. Cazorla, Ramsey and Wilshere are all good enough to start, but only one can – at least in their favoured position. I expect we will continue to see Ramsey and Wilshere used out wide until Cazorla leaves.
Looking at that squad, I think we only need to improve at defensive midfield and striker in order for us to be serious league title contenders. Karim Benzema and Javi Martinez would be the dream. To make room I would loan out Akpom and Gnabry and sell Flamini. Welbeck could then be used as a third choice striker or second choice winger. His work rate makes him a useful addition in the XI for the bigger games too.
But the defence is there for Wenger to not sign anyone else. Even if Flamini is shipped to Turkey, Wilshere is a more than adequate option in that deep midfield role – as he has proven regularly for England.
Is that depth better than Chelsea have? I think so. The problem is Chelsea’s best eleven remains better. Luckily Jose Mourinho’s first eleven stayed fit for most of the season last year and when one or two got injured, they dropped off. Hopefully they can have a bit more bad luck next season so we can see what happens when their squad is stretched, and Mourinho has to make some serious decisions.