Arsenal’s indifferent start to the season makes them seem they aren’t set up for success and may need to improve the squad in the winter transfer window. But what do they need?
Where could the transfer negotiators and scouts focus to really help the team in January?
Arsenal have a number of centre-back options at the moment, but only one of the experienced options can seem to stay fit for longer than a month at a time – Nacho Monreal. The Gunners can’t rely on Monreal alone, and the revolving door of players partnering him is a problem.
Laurent Koscielny is excellent, but regularly spends time on the sidelines. Shkodran Mustafi is out for at least a few more weeks. Calum Chambers is in and out like a jack-in-the-box. Per Mertesacker has only been trusted with one game a week at best, after spending almost the whole of last season out.
So if Arsenal can find a defender to improve the first eleven, whilst also making sure that player isn’t as injury-prone as the rest of the team, that would be an ideal signing, for me.
This position has seemed like slightly less of an issue with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey’s good form, but with Francis Coquelin’s injuries and Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka putting in a poor combined performance against Watford, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Jean Michael Seri was mentioned over the summer, and I can’t deny I like him, but perhaps a more defensively-minded midfielder would be a better alternative.
If Mathieu Debuchy continues to be the forgotten man for the Gunners, then they clearly need a back-up right back to Hector Bellerín, because there isn’t a convince one at the club right now – even if he’s since returned in the Europa League.
Reiss Nelson should be utilised in the front three, in my opinion. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has gone to Liverpool, and no one else has actually played there this campaign.
Ospina assisted FC Köln for their opener at the Emirates, making the match far more difficult than it needed to be. Then he should have done better with BATE Borisov’s first goal, when Arsenal were 3-0 up and cruising.
Both times, the Colombian dialled up the stress and the whole team had to work harder as a result. Again, I don’t think Čech has done badly this season, but he’ll be 36 by the time the summer window comes around, so the pressure will be even higher to try and buy one then.
It feels like it’s time to look for someone to eventually replace Cech, and in my opinion that person cannot be Ospina.