Mikel Arteta is expected to stay in the same 4-2-3-1 he favored last season. There needs to be an improvement in goal but Bernd Leno is most likely to start in goal. The German goalkeeper is very much average with a save percentage of 69.2. So it’s pretty clear that Arsenal might struggle to win the League with Leno in goal but at least for now, it’s fine.
In defence there’s gonna be Gabriel and Ben White, the Brazilian had a good season in the Premier League playing alongside a reliable partner could see him improve even more. Speaking of Ben White, whom they bought from Brighton and Hove Albion for £50 million, the England international is a very calm and composed defender who’s got good technical skills showcased by his first touch, ball carrying and passing.
Where Arsenal have struggled under Arteta has been playing out from the back and getting the ball to their forwards which were seen in the 19/20 season showcased by their goal against Manchester City of the gunners draw teams onto them by playing in their defensive third for playing around the pressure and creating chances. However, the gunners have struggled to replicate this consistently but now with two very good central defenders on The ball, the gunners should be in a position to return to this style of play.
At left-back, despite signing Nuno Tavares from Benfica for around £8 million, Kieran Tierney might be preferred over him. At right-back, Hector Bellerin will continue. Arsenal making moves to sell him but talks don’t seem to be moving forward with Inter Milan, so he’s expected to remain as first choice right back at Arsenal. It’s quite impressive what Arsenal is doing defensively. Bellerin and especially Tierney are very well-rounded full-backs, whilst Gabriel and White are dominant 1v1 defenders and also very good on the ball. This setup should allow Arteta to have a very flexible approach with both full-backs capable of operating in the final third as wingers but also in deeper supporting roles as inverted wing-backs.
Moving into midfield, Thomas Partey is expected to adapt to a box-to-box role this season, thanks to the addition of defensive midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht for £15 million-plus add-ons, the 21-year-Old is a shrewd signing. Lokonga tends to operate as a halfback, in possession he often splits the center-backs and receives The ball directly from the goalkeeper. He generally looks for short and simple passes, but he can play accurate balls over distance notably switching out to the other flank. Lokonga along with Ben White will further Arsenal’s development on the Mickel Arteta into a component possession-based team by playing out from the back, drawing pressure from the opposition for playing around the press, and progressing the play or drawing the opposition onto one flank before switching out to the other.
The attacking units include several players who can operate in positions but of course we’ll see Aubameyang through the middle, Emile Smith Rowe at number 10 flanked by Saka and Pepe. Saka as a playmaker and Pepe was more of a goalscorer operator on both flanks last season, so could be used in different positions depending on the situation. Like with the defensive players, this lineup will give Arteta great flexibility. Arsenal could attack in a lopsided 3-2-5 with the same side full-back which could make use of the roundedness of their full-backs and make Arsenal more difficult to stop. The width can come in from the overlapping full-backs whilst in the final third pushing Arsenal’s technical forwards closer to each other.
Arteta has several options off the bench, Lacazette could play through the middle or offer more of a back to goal threat to drop off the line and create space for goal-scoring runs. Gabriel Martinelli could be used all across the forward line to add some direct running whilst Joe Willock showed his ability to add goals from midfield whilst on loan at Newcastle.
Regardless The Gunners are in a much stronger position than they were last season. Even if they didn’t add any more players they’ve already really improved their problematic defence.
So will Arsenal finally finish their desired top 4 at the end of the season? Or will their misery continue after all these revolutions?