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Squad Analysis 2020/21


Well-Known Member
My point is have a defence that can defend and be relied upon. That is secure to not have to rely on the wingers dropping deep and midfield sitting deep and CM continuing to look sideways and back to maintain possession for fear of conceding possession.

Leicester create more and get more shot away than us. United could have beat Leeds 10 the other day. There's an emphasis on scoring and creating that's coached.

Our stats of less shots than all but 1 relegation fighting team and 0 creativity would indicate that progressive play is being neglected or not promoted in order to make the team defensively better as a unit but at a cost.

Again it depends on budget and sales. I would address midfield first and possibly a striker/forward player then a CB. But I believe if Saliba doesn't somehow appear in the first team we will need one.

I agree on order of priority. Just don't think our budget will extend much beyond midfield. I blame the midfield for our sideways and backwards play.

It's madness that Saliba hasn't been played. How can they plan for the next season without testing him at this level to see how far (if at all) he is off being able to contribute significantly in the squad.


Established Member

Country: Switzerland

If that was our second team for the new 4-2-3-1 formation tonight we're ****ed.

We need to bring in an AM ASAP. The moment ESR is down we're screwed. Unless Willian suddenly reverts back a few years and gains massive confidence. but that's a lot of hopin'.

Abhishek Arora

Always Hoping For The Worst
I found a nice question online
Out of Willock, Nketiah and Nelson; in this transfer window, who would you....


Active Member
Out of contract end of season:
- Luiz.
- Mustafi.
- Sokratis.
- Özil.
- Ceballos.

Out of contract in 2022:
- Elneny.
- Chambers.
- Lacazette.
- Nketiah.
- Kolasanic.
- Guendouzi.

With the exception of Nketiah and Chambers (less likely) I don't see any of those guys extending their contracts and will be sold as a result. Thats potentially 11 guys likely to be moved on at seasons end, freeing up a heap of salary and greatly reducing the size of our squad down to 22.

Beyond the names listed above there still could be a few more departures. Guys like Nelson and Willock could be loaned or sold. Returning loanees like Torreira and Mavropanos will likely be sold. Bellerins time at the club could also be over as I can see him exploring his options, while the same could be said of Maitland Niles.

Lastly unless either Pepe and Willian improve their performances in the back half of the season I can see us cutting our losses. Willian to China via Kias connections and Pepe back to France.

I don't think its unreasonable to expect some massive changes this off season, the money being freed up on outgoing wages should hopefully makes us more aggressive in getting players in the door.


Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
Trusted ⭐

I think we should play 4231 and there aren't many players I'd want starting for us next season.


RB - Holding - Gabriel - Tierney
Partey - CM
Saka - AM - LW

  • We should sell Bellerin
  • We need a physical, technically secure CM who can win battles and progress the ball with passing and dribbling to the front 4
  • We need an AM/Technical CM. ESR is too young to rely on
  • We need to cut our losses with Pepe and get a left sided winger/creative
  • We need to get Auba of the wing, he's hampering us there and we won't drop him. We should sell Lacazette


Active Member
I was reading about Fernando Torres flourishing coaching career and it reminded me of his exit from Liverpool to Chelsea. Liverpool knew he was on the decline but he was a firm fans favourite. Ruthless but extremely smart business. 50m Big ones.

We seem unable to make grown up strategic decisions at Arsenal. Too swayed by fans reaction, maybe?

Arsenal are like Boris Johnson. They don't make big decisions at the right time for fear of upsetting their fan base (electorate). They don't make these decisions, they delay, they go for the 'easy' option, and ultimately it buggers us all in the end.

It would have been a mightily bold decision to sell Auba rather than give him a contract extension. Same with Özil's renewal. But, I don't think you have to be a genius to hypothesise that Auba (albeit off the back of great goalscoring season) is a limited footballer, not suited to the football that Arteta is trying to cultivate and a likely physical decline is imminent.

Nothing in our mid/long term transfer strategy suggests any kind of decisive, aggressive or thoughtful planning.

We are ****ed.


Well-Known Member
After watching yesterday's match I think it's clear we need a central midfield partner for Partey moreso than a number 10/ attacking Midfielder type.

At home playing the low block sides such as Palace or Newcastle requires players capable of progressing play quickly. I personally think it's unnecessary to have Xhaka or Elneny alongside Partey in such matches. Ceballos is too inconsistent whilst Willock has the talent but does not seem ready, though he could do with more games to reach this level.

We could alternatively, seek a deep-lying midfielder that is mobile and enable Partey to fulfil the box to box role where he's shown the capabilities to be proficient.


Obsessed With Looking for Eric
Özil, Kolasinac (loan) and Sokratis all gone. The only sensible thing to do in this situation. Hopefully we`ve saved a decent amount of money but just as important is getting our squad more compact. I don`t think players like Kolasinac or Sokratis have been major disruptions in training but Özil, Kolasinac and Mustafi were very close it seems and having players of that stature around knowing they won`t play and are gone in the summer, can not be healthy in any way. Hopefully we can get Mustafi out too the next ten days.


Very pleased with the clearout to date — hopefully we can get some combo of Mustafi, Luiz, and Willian (wishful thinking) out the door soon as well.


Obsessed With Looking for Eric
Will be very interesting to see how our squad looks like after the summer. I would say that only the following players are certain to be here after the summer:

- Leno
- Gabriel
- Saliba
- Cedric
- Holding
- Mari
- Tierney
- Partey
- Smith Rowe
- Martinelli
- Aubameyang
- Saka

Players that could leave:

- Maitland Niles
- Chambers
- Bellerin
- Willock (loan)
- Lacazette
- Nketiah
- Pepe
- Willian
- Elneny
- Mavropanos
- Xhaka

Players that are likely to leave/ will certainly leave
- Luiz
- Kolasinac
- Mustafi
- Torreira
- Guendouzi

Obviously we won`t sell/lose 17 players but there will be lots of changes I`m sure and certainly more players leaving than coming in, squad is way too big.


Active Member
Very pleased with the clearout to date — hopefully we can get some combo of Mustafi, Luiz, and Willian (wishful thinking) out the door soon as well.

Luiz is playing his part this year. I’m inclined to keep him in a bit part role (and reduced salary) for another year if he is keen. William I’ll wait to see how he goes in the second half of the season but if he doesn’t pick up then we should move and recover the sign on fee + wage spent in the process hopefully.


Luiz is playing his part this year. I’m inclined to keep him in a bit part role (and reduced salary) for another year if he is keen. William I’ll wait to see how he goes in the second half of the season but if he doesn’t pick up then we should move and recover the sign on fee + wage spent in the process hopefully.
I think we should get younger than Luiz + not sure if he’d be willing to accept the requisite reduction in pay and play. He’s still a big name — let someone else overpay him.

Re: Willian, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a rebound too, but if he doesn’t, I can’t imagine us getting someone to pay for more than ~half his salary on loan, let alone pay us an actual transfer fee.

Mrs Bergkamp

Double Dusted
Dusted 🔻
I think this is the year where we clear the decks in the first squad and below. We can then concentrate our limited funds on improving the first 11 and hoping the drop down isn't too steep. Wenger had a purge about givevyears ago which was quite impressive. Then I realised we had so much dross left :facepalm:


Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
Trusted ⭐

So... Contracts with 1 year left in the summer


All should be sold in the summer. Optimistically we could get £90m for them and we'd be saving maybe £300k a week in wages.

Contracts that with 2 years left in the summer

Auba - Keep
Leno - Extend
Bellerin - Sell
Xhaka - Sell
AMN - Sell or play as starting RB
Willock - Sell
Willian - Sell if can but won't be able to
Nelson - Sell/Keep if we are convinced he'll still develop

Again optimistically we could get £80m for them saving £200k+

What would that leave us with?

Leno, Runarrson, AMN, Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Saliba, Mari, Tierney, Partey, ESR, Saka, Pepe, Martinelli, Willian, Aubameyang

That's a seriously trimmed squad with obvious requirements being:

2nd GK
1st RB
2nd LB
1st CM
2nd CM
2nd CM (promote?)
AM/wide player
Another AM/wide player because we should sell Pepe as we aren't going to use him effectively.


Established Member

Country: Australia
Both players we've signed on loan this window both sound likely to join us permanently next window, if either one of them was to join us permanently next window which of the 2 will be the most likely asking anyone that is to know more then me?


My brother posted it ⏩
Ideally you want two players for each position, with a fifth extra player in the CB and CM areas and also another attacker who can play across the board, ideally not Willian. Of course the backups have to be completely capable. Luckily we've nailed 2 problems areas this window, with a left back also likely to come in as well.

Leno, Ryan
?, Cedric
Holding, Saliba, ?
Gabriel, Mari
Tierney, ?
?, Xhaka, Azeez
Partey, ?
Saka, Pepe
ESR, Ødegaard
?, Martinelli
Auba, Balogun

I have my doubts with Auba up front due to the style of play we go with under Arteta, but eventually he'll have to move there. So the ? in the LW position can be moved to a striker and vice versa.

Right back is key, AMN and Bellerin need to both be sold.
The CB isn't a big issue for me yet, it will become an issue if and when we start getting into title challenging positions/CL. Ryan is a fantastic backup keeper and I expect him to sign permanently in the summer.

CM has a few questions, we can't sell EVERYONE there. I expect Xhaka to stay and maybe even Elneny. Guendouzi is coming back and will have a year left, what will we do? I doubt he's matured that much. If he has you use him and stop yourself from needing to make a £20M signing in that area. Bissouma should be the main signing we make in that area. If not him then I'd go with Soumare. Renato Sanches is also a good option.

Attack is tricky. I believe we either need a top striker and a winger like a Solomon. Or we need someone like Grealish and say an Edouard.

All in all when fully fit I think we have 7 players who you could say wont be displaced and can't be truly upgraded on unless you spent a significant amount of money (Auba, Tierney, Partey, Leno, Saka, Gabriel, ESR)

To properly build this squad Ryan, backup left back, right back, CB, Ødegaard on a permanent deal IF he fits in well, Bissouma, possibly another £20-30M CM and two of the attackers I mentioned above would likely cost us £250M. I think that is doable in two summer windows considering the players leaving us and the fees that we will gain.

This summer I think we should be targeting a right back, Bissouma, Ødegaard on a permanent deal and the backup or top tier striker. Depending on which road we go down and if Lacazette is sold.

Think our positions of need are fairly similar actually @DanDare


John Radford’s son
Wonder if Brighton might accept a Guendouzi + cash swap for Bissouma?

He would really elevate this team up a level


Nobody Is Coming!

Country: England
Bring matteo back and sign Bissouma, make the loans perm, Sign a lb and rb and one of lw/rw/cf. Job done


Established Member
Good stuff above. For those bringing up RB, would be great if you could drop some names into the wish list thread (transfers section of forum). I don’t think Bellerin will be pushing for a move, he could be sharper at both ends of the pitch, maybe Cedric will push him on. Would have to be convinced on a potential replacement being better with minimal acclimatisation time.

CF could be an issue down the line based on expiring contracts. So many unknowns with that right now, a couple at least should be resolved within the next six months.
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