After the near-glory of last season, Mikel Arteta will have to readjust the gameplan for another summer as he aims for a successful pursuit of the Premier League title next term.

Here are three key moves the Arsenal manager needs to execute to ensure the Gunners are right on track this time.


Towards the end of the 2022/23 season, the decline in fitness – and therefore, form – for Bukayo Saka was very much one of the visible signs, along with Saliba’s absence, which resulted in Arsenal surrendering a Premier League title they appeared on course to win for much of the season after being eight points clear at the top at one stage.

Saka’s fitness woes carried on into last season with the winger limping off during substitutions in several games, a run of incidents which saw some fans criticize Arteta for mismanaging the youngster’s playing time.

With that said, Saka’s fitness concerns aren’t the only reason to pursue another right winger. The truth of the matter is, regardless of how solid the Englishman’s numbers were last term, Arsenal were too predictable on the right flank against opponents, because everything was always the ‘Saka way’.

Now that it has become a routine for opposing coaches to put two defenders on Saka when he has the ball, that area of Arsenal’s attack needs unpredictability and fresh ideas more than ever. A new winger, whose style of play is different from Saka will not only provide Arteta with a plan B on the right but also ease the fitness woes of Saka as well.

Regardless of how good a player is, a lack of rotation in his position can slowly breed complacency and that could be where we are heading on the right wing unless Arteta introduces a new face/plan this summer.


Gabriel and Saliba played more games than virtually any other player in the Arsenal squad last term. That is a sign of great fitness but it does take a lot of luck with injuries for that to happen and Arteta cannot go into another season, counting on his two star centrebacks to be 100% available yet again. It would be very naive to do so, especially in today’s climate of unexpected injuries all around the league. Thus, adding some quality cover at centre-back is imperative, as the options in that area are not as plentiful as they seem on paper.

Ben White spends most of the time as a first choice right-back while Tomiyasu frankly spends most of the time out through injury (even though he can feature at RB and CB). That leaves Kiwior as the only fully available centre-back option as a back up to the starting duo and even though Timber was purchased as someone who can play everywhere across the back four, most of the little we have seen of him in Arsenal colours has been at fullback. Also, considering the major injury the Dutchman just recovered from, it would be unfair to completely rely on a player right after he tore his knee ligaments and spent almost a year on the sidelines.

The factors above leave Kiwior as the only man expected to be idle if any of the starting duo are out and that is not good enough, especially with Kiwior’s best displays coming at left back than centre-back anyway.

As a result, there is an urgent need for at least one competent centre-back who can share the workload with Gabriel and Saliba. If you look at the situation very closely, the ‘Rob Holding role’ is actually yet to be filled after the subpar defender’s exit last summer.

There is a reason why Saliba was sorely missed in spring 2023 when Holding was called upon. And as things stand, should a major absence like that occur again, Arsenal will be back in the same situation two seasons later, where there still isnt a good enough deputee for Saliba.


Regardless of how refined the form of Havertz became towards the end of last season, the theme for much of the campaign was that Arsenal needed a reliable centre forward.

Havertz does produce his fair share of hardwork and the entire squad does combine very well to rack up the goals but anyone who witnessed most Arsenal games last season could easily conclude that there was a missing figure at number 9; that prolific striker who can finish off chances ruthlessly.

Due to stricter financial regulations from the Premier League, it would probably require a sale before a purchase can be made in the striker department this summer. Thus, the man who should make way for the monetary gain is Eddie Nketiah. The 25-year-old is not exactly as useless as some harsh fans deem him to be, but neither is he the man to lead Arsenal’s frontline. The profligate Gabriel Jesus can’t be the main man upfront either but at least he offers more versatility than Nketah, with his ability to play as a winger on both flanks.

Even though he has ocassionally filled in on the right wing, Nketiah is far more of a one-position player and his underwhelming shows in that centre-forward role makes him the necessary sacrifice to create space for the new striker that everyone craves.

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