As we enter the final straight of the 2019/20 season, there are problems that have been clearly identified, like lack of squad depth in areas, so where do the Arsenal need to recruit to build as strong a squad as possible?
Let’s have a look position by position:
Manuela Zinsberger, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Fran Stenson (on loan)
Manuela is the number one choice and obviously will stay. Pauline is out of contract in the summer and there is no news about a contract extension. Fran is on loan at Blackburn. The question is do the club recruit a back-up to Manuela, should Pauline, leave or promote Fran to number two?
Leonie Maier, Lisa Evans.
Both are likely to stay and are used a lot in rotation. Although in theory they should be competing for the spot, Lisa has been played a lot on the wing due to the lack of depth in attack.
Katrine Veje, Emma Mitchell (on loan).
Veje has missed most of the season with injury while Emma Mitchell has been sent on loan to Spurs. It means forward Katie McCabe has been forced to play there for most of the season and has denied the team her usual attacking prowess. One left footed defender is needed at least, if not two.
Steph Catley is the name being tipped to be signed in the summer and it makes sense as she is a quality Australian international player who knows Joe Montemurro already and fits the Arsenal style.
Leah Williamson, Jennifer Beattie, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Louise Quinn.
Louise Quinn can be considered unlucky this season as she has not had a lot of playing time compared to the previous two seasons. She has got more time recently due to Jennifer Beattie’s injury but fell behind Viktoria Schnaderbeck in the pecking order.
Should she leave, it would be great to try to sign a veteran like Becky Sauerbrunn who is an Arsenal fan or a younger up and coming centre-back.
Defensive midfielders (1):
This in an area where Arsenal could do with another signing. Kim Little actually tends to play alongside Lia in a double pivot, but you can’t really classify her as a number 6.
Someone like Julie Ertz would be the perfect signing as she is a world class midfielder/defender and would fit well in the team as a player that switches position according to the play.
Alternatively, promoting Academy youngster Silvana Flores as the back-up to Lia would be a great option as the youngster is making great strides but has been busy travelling this season due Mexico national team commitments, taking part in u20 and senior camps.
Central midfielders (1):
The Scottish playmaker is now deployed in a lower position on the pitch than she used to in her first stint with Arsenal. Joe Montemurro prefers having her at start the build play rather than closer to the goal.
Attacking midfielders (2):
Jordan Nobbs, Jill Roord
Two excellent attacking midfielders who play in the number 10 position. The team is well stacked and there is no need to add any player there. Melisa Filis, who is in her second season as a first team back-up despite being only 18-years-old is another option.
Beth Mead, Danielle Carter, Danielle Van De Donk, Katie McCabe
Danielle Carter is on her way back from her ACL injury. With Caitlin Foord able to cover as a winger, you could say we have enough players there, but adding an extra one would be useful as a rotation player.
Vivianne Miedema, Caitlin Foord
Until the January transfer window, Arsenal were short of options to rest Vivianne Miedema. That problem is now solved with versatile Australian forward Caitlin Foord signed from Sydney FC
To recap, I believe the club needs to get a left-footed full-back, a defensive midfielder and a winger. Should we keep all our players, we would therefore have 24 players in the squad out of a maximum of 25.
But I would certainly expect one to three players to leave, bringing the numbers to 22.
When you account for all the injuries we had in the last two seasons, 22 is the right number. Even if you can only have 18 players on the teamsheet, the odds are we will have injuries throughout the season and therefore not many players will actually be left out of the squad on matchday.