Too many CBs at Arsenal… who should go and who should stay?

One down, how many more to follow?

Here are the players that are currently in our squad as CBs:

  1. Holding
  2. Gabriel
  3. Mari
  4. Mavropanos
  5. Saliba

We also know that Chambers, Tierney and even Xhaka could play there.

So we have five CBs and then three players that can play CB if needed, including two defenders. So technically, we have a lot of CB options.

We should keep 4 CBs as part of our rotation (knowing that Chambers or Tierney could play there if needed) and it seems that Holding, Gabriel and Mari are all staying so who should be our fourth one?

A. Mavropanos who had a good season in Germany.

B. Saliba who had a good run at Nice although nothing stellar either.

C. A new face.

If we decide to keep only 4 CBs (which makes sense tbh), we have a few options:

  1. Sell/loan Mavro, sell/loan Saliba and bring in a CB
  2. Keep Mavro, loan/sell Saliba
  3. Keep Saliba, loan/sell Mavro

My inkiling is that Arteta will want five CBs in the end and may keep either Mavro or Saliba and bring in an experienced CB in the squad.

If we need liquidity, then Mavro will be sold… tough choices regarding Mavro and Saliba. For me, Saliba needs another loan but in the EPL…

What are your thoughts?



39 Responses to Too many CBs at Arsenal… who should go and who should stay?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for posing a good question RC

    I have no problem with keeping Holding, Gabriel and Mari.

    I would also definitely keep Chambers who can fill in at CB if we go through a particularly unlucky injury spell.

    So the question is – as you have pointed out – do we go with one of Saliba/Mavro or do we attempt to add a fourth top rated CB to the three who are staying?

    I have heard mixed but generally positive reports about Saliba, while Mavro seems to have done really well in Germany.

    If Arteta keeps one of them I suspect it will be the one who looks better with the ball at their feet – who can therefore contribute to playing out from the back without having the ‘deer in the headlights’ look.

    I don’t know enough about either player to say which one that should be.

  2. Dexter says:

    It’s a shame neither Mav or Saliba have been given an opportunity in the team. I know Mavroponas has played (and did well I thought), so it’s a tricky one. Given our injury record and shit luck I’d be inclined to keep them all!

    Plus we have Ballard, Medley and McGuinness coming thru!

    I know it looks a lot simpler from our perspective, but I’d really like to see the likes of Holding, Chambers, Maitland Niles, Aand Whillock given playing time next season. It seems Nelson will be off and (hopefully for me at least) Xhaka, who I’ve never ever rated!

    Going back to the subject matter, I think Holding is our best CB and altho he had some dodgy performances I think Gabriel is the one to partner Rob. But hopefully all these players get a chance in preseason to prove themselves.

    I’m sorry for the rambling response, but I’ve not been on any blogs for years!! UTA!

  3. RockyLives says:

    Excellent point about the ‘NextGen’ CBs, some of whom are very highly thought of.

  4. RockyLives says:

    And welcome back to blogging – you’ve found the right place for a sensible chat 😀

  5. RockyLives says:

    My first choice CB pairing is also Holding-Gabriel, although I hope the coaches are working with Gabriel on his distribution, which is the weaker part of his game. His power and pace are excellent.

    Holding is consistently underrated I feel. We had the third best defensive record in the EPL last season and he was a big part of it.

  6. Dexter says:

    Cheers Rocky!

  7. LBG says:

    I disagree RC….not really, only joking.😁
    If I’m honest I believe Gabriel will turn out to be the weakest of the five currently left. There’s controversy for you.
    Holding ( like Chambers) is Arsenal to the core and even if limited still creatively, is the one for me in the trenches. Mari is quality on the ball, particularly in his dynamic passing, with equal defensive qualities to Gabriel.
    That leaves the youngsters. Those few games we saw Mavrapanos in when he first arrived showed a talent, head up and calm, possibly also with those qualities, a leader. And Saliba! Is he a future VVD, or at the moment anyway another Guendouzi? I agree (as always) with Rocky. How will they perform in pre-season with the ball at their feet ( because you cant tell how they are with pressure defensively from say Cavani, or that other one down the Seven Sisters Road, until the battle is underway).
    Conclusion. Loan out one of Mavrapanos or Saliba carefully to a Championship Club (Bournemouth) to further learn the harsh realities of our Leagues. Have a clause to bring him back at Christmas if injuries turn everything pear shaped, and if there are ruckions and one wants to go for good, have a massive sell on clause to our benefit.

  8. LBG says:

    Morning Dexter
    Us, anti Xhakas will die in Hell you know!

  9. Dexter says:

    I agree about Holding, really under rated! But it seems Arsenal arent allowed to be good defensively! It goes against the media narrative, like the ‘soft under belly’ bollocks!

    I was listening to sum clueless pundit banging on about how error prone Leno and the defense were and even after he was told Liverpool had far more errors leading to a goal, he still wouldn’t have it.

    I think Arteta has worked really well in organising the defense and team and the players, in the main, have responded.

  10. Dexter says:

    Morning LBG,

    Itll be worth it!! 🤣🤣

  11. LBG says:

    Dexter there’s your problem! Listening to pundits, who dont watch half as much of OUR players as we do, and are paid either to be Keantroversial or agree with the other oknowledgeable-ones, the newspaper journalists.

  12. LBG says:

    I agree, as long as Xhaka doesnt end up there with us.

  13. LBG says:

    ” aren’t allowed to be good defensively”….what irony since for so long we taught the World to defend, until they changed the rules.

  14. fred1266 says:

    I vote saliba, ever since I spoke to Charlie George and he explained to me that everyone at the club consider him the next VVD I am just excited to see him play

  15. fred1266 says:

    Keep all in my opinion no one wants to see KT play CB and Mari to injury prone

  16. fred1266 says:


    Blackpool Lincoln who we like

  17. allezkev says:

    It was good to see Mavropanos go through an entire league campaign without succumbing to another long, frustrating injury but for me his fitness is always going to be a worry, so if a good bid comes in I would sell him.

    The Saliba saga is a mystery and makes me wonder that maybe things have been said in-house between player and manager and that there’s a schism between them? I hope not and I hope that Arteta will give him a chance to establish himself as the replacement to Luiz.

    We have a lot of upgrading to do on this squad and not a lot to spend and I think the funds we have would be better spent in other departments of the team rather than a new centre back. For me Mari, Holding, Gabriel and Saliba look a very competent foursome for next season.

  18. Sue says:

    Fred.. Blackpool (Ballard!) 🙂

  19. LBG says:

    Put in a possible post for pre Euros on arsenalnuts, should it be of any use.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Thanks LBG

  21. Dexter says:


    I know, I know, paying any sort of attention to any pundit is a waste of time!


  22. LBG says:

    On the other hand, some would say paying any attention to us who comment on the best blog in Christendom is equally ridiculous!!😉

  23. RockyLives says:

    Everything said on here is gospel. Or gossip. Or gobshite. Or something…

  24. LBG says:

    Bolleaux, even!

  25. RC78 says:

    Saliba should not be likened to VVD at any rate…If you compare him to a good defender, then it should be Varane. Similar game, similar morphology…but Varane was better at the same age…

    I think we should loan out Saliba and keep Mavropanos in the end :-p but Saliba should be only loaned out in the EPL – otherwise it is not worth it.

    In terms of up and coming french CBs, Fofana is more the VVD and Saliba the Varane. Now there is also Konate and Upamecano, I d say Konate is closer to a Joe Gomez and Upamecao a John Stones but they are not at that level yet or maybe they won’t ever reach that level, who knows? Oh and I forgot Kounde – he is also very solid…

    If AFC were looking at a young French defender though, I d be inclined to look at Mukiele – can play RB and CB. He is solid.

    So here is my rotation:
    A) Holding – Gabs
    B) Mavro – Mari

    Loan out Saliba to a team like Brentford…

    By the way, I am
    – pleased for Brentford;
    – happy for T. Silva and Tuchel;
    – quite upset with Leonardo from PSG for sacking Tuchel.


  26. RC78 says:

    @RA – I have actually been to UT – Austin twice for a few days for tennis championships. I like the campus. Now, I did not come across any French speakers there but there must be…Je suis certain que les escargots texans sont geants et qu’ils occupent toute l’assiette!

  27. LBG says:

    Guendouzi wanted by Brighton. Maupay might be a little put out!😁

  28. LBG says:

    And could he be part of the Bissouma deal?🤞

  29. RC78 says:

    Is Bissouma really good?

  30. RA says:

    RC, @ 4:49 😁

  31. RA says:


    I thought I saw that Konate has agreed a deal with ‘Pool.

    Not sure we will keep either Mavro or Saliba — each has had a problem with Arsenal, and the former has said he wants to move, and Saliba was unhappy that he was left on his own without support when he went to Arsenal. [Just hearsay – but has the ring of truth for both.]

  32. LBG says:

    Jesus at £70m plus 70m for Kane interests Levy. The World has gone mad….madder!

  33. LBG says:

    RC @ 5.03 Yes!

  34. Dexter says:

    We can hypothesise all we like about the CBs we have and who should stay and who should go, but without decent cover in front in midfield the defence will struggle, IMO.

    WE just dont seem to have got the midfield right for any sustained period for years.

    I like Elneny, hes solid, if not spectacular. I liked Guendouzi, thought he should have been retained and Torreira also, altho both now seem surplus.

    We sign Partey for a big fee and it seems we were shafted! And so were still looking for TWO central midfielders, even after all this time. I do hope Whillock is given a chance, but who can partner him? Elneny currently would seem the only likely candidate, coz Xhaka is off, obvs! 🤣

  35. RockyLives says:

    If we’re prepared to let Xhaka go I can only assume it means we have a DM lined up.

    If we had a Kante type player I think Partey might come into his own as a box-to-boxer (with Willock as competition for that role).

    Happy to keep Mo as a squad player.

    Not sorry to see the back of Guendouzi (lots of potential but a history of causing trouble) and much as I had high hopes for Torreira I don’t think he had the physicality required in the Premier League.

  36. allezkev says:

    Thanks for the vid Fred, yeah Ballard has had a really solid season for Blackpool making himself an automatic pick for its entirety as has Clarke at Oldham.

  37. LBG says:

    Are you saying we arent allowed to be any good defensively, and we need to sort out some proper cover in central midfield? It’s a good job we are great up front, and banging in the goals!😁
    I feel a jigsol and Aaron coming on!

  38. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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