Arsène Wenger is as non-committal as usual on the prospect of Arsenal making a signing in January, but if they do, what shirt numbers could the new player take?
From Instagram likes to Twitter follows, supporters search for any tiny detail that could give away Arsenal’s next move.
In that same spirit, we’re looking at which squad numbers are still open.
1. Number 1
When Petr Čech signed for Arsenal, Wojciech Szczesny was number one. Then the Polish international went on loan, and Arsenal reserved the number for his return. But, sadly, we sold him to Juventus. Perhaps the Gunners could bring in a new goalkeeper to take over the jersey? That would be nice.
2. Number 3
Kieran Gibbs had this number until the summer, but Arsenal sold him to West Bromwich Albion, making it available. Considering Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been filling in at left-back, maybe the Gunners could sign a proper back-up to Sead Kolašinac, and give him the number.
3. Number 5
Another vacancy left by Arsenal’s summer business. Gabriel Paulista left for Valencia, and Arsenal didn’t bring in anyone to replace him. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see the Gunners go for a new centre-back this winter.
4. Number 15
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left this number open when he rejected Arsenal’s contract offer to move to Premier League rivals, Liverpool. Perhaps the likes of Thomas Lemar, Julian Draxler or Riyad Mahrez could come in and take it up?
5. Numbers 25-28
These are the only other four numbers available from one to 35. Technically, Lucas Perez has number 28, but I’d say it’s unlikely he’ll ever return from his loan. Then again, Szczesny never came back from his loan, and the club saved his number anyway. I doubt any of these numbers are likely to be filled in the winter window anyway, but who knows?
That’s it for the numbers that are realistically available in January. After Elneny (35) only youth players have any higher numbers. Hopefully we’ll see one or two gaps filled this winter, and not too many opening up.