As we were discussing the possibility of including Foden, Grealish or Mount in our squad, I reflected on our squad both in terms of starting XI and depth.
As Henry rightly mentioned after our win against the Spurs, we need to find consistency in our performances and as Arteta said, we need to improve our game management as well. But Henry also mentioned that we have a good squad overall and it is hard to argue against that. It is just we also have inconsistent players and players that can give goals aways or get red carded or commit fouls when there is no need for it…
Based on the above and looking at our squad, I think that it is fair to say that:
- We could use an upgrade at the Right-Back Position;
- We could also use a better player in midfield to play along side Partey;
- We could also improve on the left wing too.
There is definitely also a shout for improving our GK and CB options but I don’t think we will invest in either of these positions this summer since the club backed Leno.
RB – I think the pressure is mounting on Bellerin now as Cedric is clearly making a case to be our starter, but Cedric is by no means a great RB, he is just better than Bellerin at the moment. We need a defensively reliable RB who can also provide inputs to our attacking game, just like Tierney on the left 🙂 Easier said than done but Emerson (Sevilla, on loan from Barcelona) is really impressive in La Liga and may be persuaded to join AFC’s growing Brazilian contingent. Some have also mentionned Lamptey from Brighton and the former Chelsea player Trippier is also said to be considering a return to the EPL but do we want a former Spurs?
CM – Here we have the conundrum of how we want to use Partey. Do we want him to play as a CM or as a DM. If the former, then we need someone who could also cover the defense. If the latter, then we need someone who could drive the ball forward and pass the ball. Xhaka’s form has been rather fine since the Christmas holidays but he can still be a liability and looking into a more composed and reliable player would be of great value for the team. I didn’t see much of him but Ward-Prowse is getting a lot of positive reviews while it could be difficult to tempt Ndidi/Kante to join us. Other options include Veretout, Pellegrini and Aouar for example.
LW – Auba plays there, Willian plays there, Martinelli plays there, Saka and Pepe can play there and we also saw that ESR can play there too! It seems that it is a well covered position but in reality, we need a pendant to Saka. Someone who can really play as a LW – score and create goals while also putting in the defensive shift. In that sense, Grealish makes a lot of sense to me but it is unlikely that we could afford him. There is also Kostic from Frankfurt who has a great engine and delivery and last but not least, we have Depay who is expected to leave Lyon for free this summer. There are others like Cunha, Raphinha amongs others but if we want to really boost this position, we need someone with lots of creativity like Grealish or one that will put in a great shift for the team like Kostic IMHO.
Leno – Emerson, Holding, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Ward-Prowse – Saka, Smithe-Rowe, Grealish – Auba
Ryan – Bellerin, Luiz, Mari, Cedric – El Neny, Xhaka – Pepe, Odegaard (?), Martinelli – Laca
+ Willian (?), Azeez, RN, Balogun.
Does that make sense to you? Do you think that with these three additions we would be credible EPL title contenders?
Do you think that we are only three players away from being title contenders? Or do you think it is five? Which positions would you target and why?