Mikel Arteta has definitely started something special at Arsenal this season and even won the FA Cup not to mention that he defeated the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard in his first season at the helm. This seems like some long overdue good news for the Arsenal fans but let us be realistic.
There is still a long way to go and if they want to be genuine title contenders then they do have to make a few changes to bolster their lineup and add some consistency to their team. This team may be in good hands but there is still a lot of work to do.
Some of the key places where they could do with better reinforcements in my opinion is in attacking midfield, central defence and also defensive midfield.
Let us start with the most problematic part of their line up and that is the Central Defence. One of the bright and upcoming prospects that can fit perfectly in the Arteta ideology is Maximilian Wober, the fast-paced ball playing defender of RB Salzburg and at the tender age of twenty-two has a lot of scope for improvement. Arsenal had also been tracking Dayout Upamecano for a long time as Arteta seems to be a big admirer but RB Leipzig won’t let go of him that easy especially after what we saw against Atletico Madrid. William Saliba seems like a breath of fresh air but he needs someone a bit more stable around him so that he can slowly grow into this side and improve his game. Lille defender Gabriel Magalhães is tagged favorite to join Arsenal this summer.
With Gendouzi falling out of favour with Arteta due to his antic’s, Arsenal could also need a more apt defensive midfielder and some of the options for this position can be Thomas Partey, whose stats seems to be really impressive with 50 passes and 6.3 final passes per 90 minutes. What makes these stats even more impressive is that he is a defensive midfielder and this showcases him understanding and reading of the game. But a less expensive option could be Toma Basic of Bourdeaux with 7.4 successful pressures per 90 and the ability to take a good set piece he may certainly take some time to develop but could be a great secondary option keeping in mind that the price tag for Thomas Partey may be really high.
Another observation that I have made is that they need a fresh presence in terms of an attacking midfield. I know that sounds crazy when you have the likes of Mesut Ozil on the bench but he hasn’t received a lot of game time recently. Many fans and broadcasters alike are even discussing whether he may have played his last in an Arsenal shirt but as a true football fan I hope that this is just speculation and wish that he comes back with a bang next season. The tactical prowess of Ozil and the ideology of Arteta can really be a treat for the eyes if aligned properly.
One player that can fill this void is Lorenzo Pellegrini with 2.9 key passes, 4.3 final third passes and 2.5 passes into the penalty per 90 minutes combined with 9 assists and 1 goal this season. The 30 million buyout clause can be a bit of a hindrance but he seems like a player who can really develop his game a lot under Arteta.
Another potential prospect is Alexander Golovin from Monaco with 2 key passes and 4 final third passes per 90 minutes. This should help them open up defences more easily and maybe ease some burden off the likes of Aubameyang but with the Willian move taking place and the rumour of the Coutinho loan move this could be put of for maybe another season or two.