Stockpiling Arsenal midfielders

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The recruitment continues apace, with Debuchy coming in as our first-choice right-back. In the website photoshoot he’s got his arms on his hips (psychologists will tell you he’s ready and in control – that’s a good sign for us. He may also be showing off his armful of tats, two of which seem to be dates in Roman numerals. Not his birthday, I checked. Perhaps his children’s. Is this interesting? No? Sorry).

Last summer, at about this time, and a lot later, we tore our hair out trying to second guess what Wenger was up to (answer: not a whole lot), but there’s no angst this summer. Two signings in, both filling obvious gaps. And it feels like there’ll be more – two or three, I’d guess.

Is that the kiss of death? I don’t think so. But if it is, I’ll delete this post and pretend it never happened.

Defence is obviously an area that needs attention, as illustrated by Arseblog the other day. But it looks like we’re in for another midfielder too. Whether it’s Khedira or not – and it feels like there’s some smoke and mirrors going on there – it’d not surprise me to see us strengthen there.

This makes sense to me. But if we do, would anyone make way? To be honest, I’d not have been massively surprised to see Arteta moving on this summer, but he’s featured so heavily in all the Puma marketing, and told us he’s happy as Larry, that I can’t see that happening. Diaby? Maybe, if someone would have his large wages. Flamini? Maybe.

Does it matter though? If Wenger is keen to stockpile midfielders it’s easy to see why. We mostly always play with five in the middle, and suffered our usual Arsenal-esque midfield injury pestilence last season. Diaby didn’t play at all, The Ox was injured a lot, Ramsey got skittled over at Christmas, Walcott not long after. Ozil did his hamstring, Wilshere only started 19 league games. Rosicky might well be the Peter Pan of football but he’s clearly an impact player these days.

We relied too heavily on some players – Arteta, Ozil and Cazorla spring to mind – as a result and what’s the next best thing to solving our injury woes? Buying more midfield players, that’s what. Could this approach work with a 25-man squad limit? It might be tricky, but it’s not impossible.

Let’s have a look. In defence we ideally need two of every position – that’s ten. We still need to recruit two of those, three if Vermaelen goes.

That leaves fifteen players (sixteen if you take a gamble with three centre-backs). Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Flamini, Diaby, Podolski, Giroud, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez are obvious ‘keepers’ to me, though Diaby’s position could be in peril.

If we kept Diaby that would leave two more spaces. One for a new defensive midfielder leaving one to be hoovered up by other hopefuls currently on the squad list: Zelalem, Sanogo, Gnabry and Campbell.

If we were to buy another striker, I think it’s curtains this season for Sanogo and Campbell. But I can see Wenger keeping Sanogo as the blunt sword he’s been so far (he’ll get better once he grows into his paws).

So what does this all mean, I hear you ask?

I’d say, if I was to stick my neck out, that I have no absolutely no idea at all.


And I’d clean forgotten about the U-21 players not counting on the 25-man list. So we’re fine: we can stockpile midfielders and probably buy another striker too. You know where to go for cold, hard, real sense on this matter – @Orbinho


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Josie Boxer

    All of the above says to me why didn’t we let the prodigal son CF return?

  2. East Lower

    Hmm. Really seems as though Wenger didn’t want him, but we may never know the reasons. Perhaps he wanted someone more defensive. Or he thinks Ozil is his replacement.

  3. Paul Bryan

    Seems to me that by eschewing Cesc, Wenger has announced his plans to build his team around Özil and Ramsey.

  4. PDDD

    We’ve loads of midfielders going forward. buying Cesc would have been silly. We have only one dm, and the manager wouldn’t pick him in 2nd half of the season! That’s why we fell apart in midfield, not injuries. We need to sell Arteta & loan out Diaby. (To get him off wage bill for his last season) then get a top-class player in with Flamini as back-up.
    Will it happen? I very much doubt it. Arsene’s love affiar with Arteta as a dm is killing us.
    He starts another season as a certain starter there & the rest of our transfer business is irrelevant frankly.
    I see one big departure in Poldi if we buy another striker.

  5. PDDD

    Although Wenger has ruled out signing a new striker, the Frenchman insisted that there will be more new arrivals at the Emirates before the start of the season.
    He said: “It depends whether our midfielders get through now until the start of the season without injuries.
    “Up front we don’t need any more, maybe I will still bring in one centre-back. I will bring in a goalkeeper for sure and we are still out there to strengthen our squad.
    And there you have it. Another transfer window of failure. So we’re going to win the league with Captain Fantastic Arteta & Like a New Signing Diaby. It’s almost funny it’s so predictable. but it’s not. It’s utterly depressing. Should have gone out on that Cup win Arsene…..

  6. East Lower

    Oh come on PDDD – there are plenty of positives in how the summer is taking shape. Not over yet. He’s never been one to reveal the whole picture to the press and why should he?

  7. PDDD

    Not over yet but looking vrry similar. Pray for Arteta to get injured or we’re doomed.

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