Arsenal are at the start of another squad rebuild, this time under head coach Mikel Arteta. Here are five bold predictions as to what might happen.
Arsenal are looking to rebuild under new head coach, Mikel Arteta. They have much work to do with a squad that is lacking in many positions. They also have big-name players to tie down to new contracts or offload, young prospects to bleed into the senior set-up, and an entire squad to assemble. And all of this must be done under the financial pressures of a global pandemic that will see them not play a match for at least three months and force them to play behind-closed-doors when they do return.
So, here are five bold predictions on how the Arsenal rebuild will look over the coming months and even years.
5. David Luiz remains the starter
There is no position that provides more options in the Arsenal squad than centre-back right now. As of writing, the club has eight central defenders on their books. Of those eight, six are currently in the squad with another two out on loan. In reality, the Gunners will see as many as four this summer with the expectation that they will add another in the transfer window.
William Saliba will return to north London ahead of next season following his loan spell at Saint-Etienne. The 19-year-old cost £26 million and is seen as the future solution of the position. However, while Saliba is the long-term answer to Arsenal’s defensive problems, I predict that David Luiz will continue as a starter, either in place of Saliba or as his partner.
Luiz has been inspired under Arteta. His distribution is critical to the way the team plays out from the back, his defensive work has improved markedly, thus far removing his silly errors that plagued his form earlier in the season, and he is a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room. Arteta will not want to sacrifice Luiz’s presence just yet. The Brazilian remains the starter next season.