Yesterday, City were rightfully crowned Champions for the 22/23 season following Arsenal’s abysmal end to the season. It was a season full of ups and downs for both teams but ultimately City’s experience and Arsenals lack of it swayed the title towards Guardiola’s men. Arsenal can be proud of the season they had and this season will act as a learning curve for this extremely young team. I’m positive this will only help them to become better players because a team this young shouldn’t have been in the title winning conversations to begin with. Next step is to improve the quality of this squad while keeping the team together.
First step towards that could be a massive one…
Both Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo are players that have been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and talks with Rice’s entourage are apparently already underway. Caicedo is the weaker of the the two transfer links but we have to remember just how much Arsenal were willing to spend on him in the January transfer window and links don’t seem to be going away. Brighton refused to do business with Arsenal as they deemed Caicedo as too valuable at the time being despite Arsenal reportedly offering up to £80m for his services.
ONE OR TWO?
Preferably Arsenal need both. Granit Xhaka’s move to Leverkusen is 90% done according to Fabrizio Romano and that one looks like it’s happening. While there have been no talks about Partey’s future, the fact of the matter is that that he isn’t getting any younger and a replacement/competition is nedeed. Up untill January he was Arsenal’s only player capable of playing as a number six. Jorginho had ups and downs but ultimately isn’t the solution.
By adding Rice and Caicedo, Arsenal would add an incredible amount of pure power into their squad. With those two in, Arsenal can challenge again.
Arsenal hit a wall physically in the most crucial part of the season in the end. Be that due to lack of quality rotation pieces in the squad or due to injuries, the fact is that Arsenal reached their limits. City peaked at the exact right time and the difference between physical level truly shown when they played against each other. Was this seen when they played for the first time in the season? Absolutely not. Thats why its key to fill up the squad with supreme quality players who’ll enable us to not only improve the starting squad but also provide competition for places.
It’s up for debate where exactly does Arteta envision the pair playing. In defensive phase, they’re likely to form a double pivot but in attacking phase it’s unknown who exactly will be the deeper of the two players.
At first I thought Rice is coming to play as the number eight due to his ball carrying ability but it does seem Arsenal have another attacking level to unlock in attack from that left sided number eight despite that player falling into a double pivot in defensive phase.
Rice could very well come in as the number six despite still needing work to fully grasp the position. I compared him to Javi Martinez in terms of that rugedness in his overall game and an immense physical level to go with it. He would need to learn how to pause games and improve on his overall understanding in 1st phase buildup. He has a wide range in his skillset, he just needs a coach who’ll put it all together for him. I believe he will blossom under Arteta’s wing.
Caicedo could slot in that number eight role Xhaka played in but recent links show that a player in the mould of Gundogan/Mount could be the way to go.
Arsenal have to do everything in their power to get Rice. Caicedo would also be a statement signing but Rice is more important. Bayern, City, Chelsea, United are all circling around Rice and Arsenal need to move quick.
If we manage to get both, it would mean a complete midfield revamp as both would come to start. The possibilites for systems shifts with both would be incredible to have.
This seems to be the first on our agenda for the summer and I’d expect one of the the two to kickstart our summer transfer window. Hopefully we can manage to pull it through.