Following a slowish start to the summer transfer window, things are hotting up on the red side of north London.
Contract extensions for Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah as well as the arrival of Brazilian teenager Marquinhos proved a mere taster for what would soon follow. Swiftly, the Gunners wrapped up a deal for the hugely talented Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira, while moves for Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha, and Lisandro Martinez are all in the works.
Arsenal mean business this summer.
Last season, the Mikel Arteta’s Gunners teased their potential with a fully fit starting XI. But, the manner in which they lost their way once one or two crucial cogs were displaced was a huge concern. Thus, a priority for the club ahead of the new season is securing high-quality depth at several positions. Arteta wants to follow the Manchester City model of having at least two interchangeable options at each position.
They’re still some way from achieving that, but the club’s intent is distinct.
A way too early Arsenal 2022/23 predicted XI
We’re not even two weeks into the summer window and pre-season is yet to begin at London Colney, but we’re already going to predict Arsenal’s starting XI for the 2022/23 season. By that, I mean the strongest team Arteta could put out once his players return to full fitness at the end of a rather hectic summer schedule.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – Ramsdale’s heroics throughout the first half of last season were somewhat undermined by a sub-par conclusion to the campaign. The young Englishman, however, has huge potential as a distributor and a shot-stopper, and there’s no doubt he’ll retain his status as Arsenal’s number one in 2022/23. American Matt Turner arrives as his number two.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – Injury woes blighted his promising debut season in north London. Arsenal weren’t quite the same side without him, with his specialist function allowing Arteta’s system to fully flourish. The club are content with their right-back options heading into the new season, and Tomiyasu will undoubtedly be the starter when fit.
Benjamin White (CB) – White is the archetypal contemporary centre-back. Sure, he may not be a pure defender, as such, but his ability on the ball proved transformative for Arteta’s build-up last season.
Gabriel (CB) – Like White, Gabriel is flawed but he established a fine understanding with the former Brighton and Leeds defender. Thus, despite the return of William Saliba from a hugely successful loan spell with Marseille, these two should continue as Arteta’s favoured centre-back pairing. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saliba quickly make his way into the manager’s plans.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Lisandro Martinez would be a wonderful addition to the club despite his physical drawbacks. The Argentine can perform three functions to a high level and one of those is left-back. If he was to join, Martinez will compete with Tierney for a starting berth and the Scotsman’s injury woes render such depth necessary. However, Tierney has earned the right to continue as Arteta’s favoured choice down the left. The dynamics would change quite dramatically if Martinez was brought into the side.
Continued on the next slide…