After so many years of a lack of depth and ambition, this season, it has all changed for Arsenal, so who makes the best starting Arsenal lineup?
In what feels like a matter of months, Arsenal seem to have gone a long way towards competing for a title.
Arguably, this summer has been Arteta’s best window, whilst he is still exploring the possibility of more potential moves to the Emirates.
With this, a headache emerges for Arteta regarding his best XI.
So, lets take a ride, into Colney, into the Emirates and see who goes into the Arsenal lineup.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper picks himself.
Aaron Ramsdale joined the Gunners from Sheffield United for £10m last Summer. Since then, he has took the number 1 spot from Leno, who has now moved to Fulham, and has become a fan favourite due to his reactions and incredible saves.
I would usually approach the rest of the defence by looking at the fullbacks and centre-halves individually but due to the versatility of the Gunner’s backline, I must approach it as one segment.
At left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney are the contenders for the position.
In attack, Zinchenko provides more, often slotting into the midfield and working in a triangle with Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Tierney approaches the final third differently, running down the touchline and looking for a cross into the box or a firm pass to a free man around the box.
Tierney seems more comfortable and disciplined in the defensive third. By this logic, if we combined Zinchenko and Tierney, we would be left with a perfect player, but for obvious reasons, we can’t!
That being said, although I love Tierney, I would rather Zinchenko in the starting XI for the overall balance of the team, but against the big six teams, I would rather Tierney’s defensive positioning in the side.
In the centre-back department, Arsenal have Ben White, Gabriel, and William Saliba competing for the starting role.
Mikel Arteta favours a left-footed player at left centre-back and therefore Gabriel is cemented in the team.
Much like other Gooners, I believe Saliba has impressed this season and it would be unfair on the Frenchman to be dropped.
That being said, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu are competitors at right-back.
Despite being injury prone, when Tomiyasu plays, he always looks good for the Gunners,
Ben White has started right-back for England before but only started playing there for Arsenal this season.
I believe he is a factor in why Saka has had a dip in form as of late. Saka has little support with White, something Tomiyasu provides.
I would start Tomiyasu when he is available but Ben White is a very good backup for both Tomiyasu and Saliba, who can be relied and called upon when needed by Arteta.
Arteta plays three midfielders, a slightly deeper defensive midfield who sits in front of the backline and two central midfielders either side of him.
Arteta has favoured Thomas Partey at defensive midfield. The only other player who naturally plays there is Mohamed Elneny but there is a very big gap in quality between the two players.
On the right, he favours Xhaka, who plays as a box-to-box however Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Viera are options for this role.
Smith Rowe showed his capabilities off the bench last season, scoring an impressive 20 goals.
Xhaka has been asked to push forward to join the attack, much like Smith Rowe does but he would require training to operate in this role.
For this season, I would continue to play Xhaka, as he has impressed but Smith Rowe may be a possible replacement over the next few seasons.
On the right of the midfield, Odegaard links play beautifully, and therefore naturally picks himself in the midfield.
Viera was bought by Arteta and Edu this summer for around £30m, I believe he will be Odegaard’s backup, and will not operate on the left side of the field.
I will make the attack short and snappy as it also picks itself.
At left-wing, Martinelli gets the nod. He has played very well for Arsenal and has started the season as an inverted winger, scoring two goals in the opening three games.
Martinelli has been linking up with the striker, and the next on the list, Gabriel Jesus, and its safe to say he has become a fan favourite at the Emirates.
He has found a great form, getting himself in lots of scoring opportunities and could have five or six goals already this season.
Lastly, the Hale End boy, Bukayo Saka, will finish the team at right-wing.
Saka has struggled to find his feet this season but as we saw last season Saka is a very bright player with a bright future ahead of him, and to make sure his growth continues, he should be given as much game-time as possible!
I believe the XI I have picked gives Arsenal the best chance of succeeding their Champions League goal.
It has the right balance to defeat teams, whilst also having great backup options to give the opposition different issues to worry about.