Arsenal will probably have a lot to take care of this summer, but according to the rumors, they are sticking to the same script. Is it time to reassess?
Mikel Arteta has worked small wonders at the club since taking over at Arsenal. It’s been a fairly underwhelming ride, but you have to appreciate the work he’s done to shore up the defense. Clearly that has been priority No. 1 (perhaps the only priority) and it’s working.
Since taking over, he has halved the number of goals this side is giving up. Remarkably, he’s done it with the help of two terrible defending defenders—David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi. But in the January transfer window, he called on help, adding Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.
It’s no doubt these qualify as desperation signings who probably wouldn’t have been signed if everyone could stay healthy, but regardless, they’re here now, and they are going to help on this mission of shoring up the back.
As we are now midway through February, we are starting to see some summer transfer targets pop up, or re-emerge, and they all follow an identical theme to the January rumors—defense, defense defense.
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The two most talked about names right now are the familiar Dayot Upamecano and the new arrival, Papa Gueye. Upamecano would bolster this defense with what we would hope would bea. long-term solution to pair with the likes of William Saliba and Calum Chambers.
Papa Gueye, meanwhile, would give another defensive midfield option by being a foil for Lucas Torreira.
Both guys have very clear directives—fix this defense. But meanwhile, this Arsenal attack is wilting and dying and guys like Hakim Ziyech are committing to Chelsea.
I will proudly withhold judgement until we see how this all plays out in the long run, but at least in the short-term, it looks like Arteta is still planning to focus his attention on this defense. I love this. I really do. It’s highly intelligent. But we have to, have to take an axe to this attack and fill the spaces left behind. If Arteta thinks that’s achievable through youth, I’m for it. But something tells me we are going to need a bit of outside help.
In the meantime, this defense is going to be solid as a (I’m really not in the mood for analogies, so create your own). And as one of the many fans who’s forgotten what it’s like to have faith in this defense, I will not complain.