Arteta made it very clear in his post-match interview against Chelsea that his options at the back have been limited since he arrived with Mari being injured, Mustafi being injured, Chambers being injured…
He has also hinted that he will want to strengthen his defensive options (I am only focusing on defenders although we all know that we need to have a proper DM and a better defensive set-up overall) this summer.
So who is likely to stay this summer? Luiz, Mari and Cedric just signed new deals and Saliba is arriving so these players will be with us for sure next year- Tierney is a starter so no doubt about him staying- Chances to see Bellerin leave are also low. Verdict: Bellerin, Cedric, Luiz, Mari, Saliba, Tierney to stay
So who is likely to go out this summer? Mavropanos has been loaned out to Stuttgart already- Sokratis is likely to join Mavropanos there but as a transfer- Question marks around Chambers, Holding, AMN and Kolasinac…- What about Medley?- Arteta seems to like Mustafi so a move seems unlikely esp. since he is injured
Verdict: Mavropanos, Sokratis and Kolasinac to leave for sure and Medley to play in reserve still. Either Chambers or Holding will also leave and there is a question mark about AMN. Chambers’ contract ends in 2022 and Holding’s in 2023 so let us see which one goes.
Based on the above, these are our defenders (before any acquisition) for next year and based on the assumption that Holding will be allowed to leave if we can cash in a good sum since his contract is longer…:
2 RB: Bellerin, Cedric ; CB: Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Mari, Sailba; 1 LB: Tierney
Given the above, I am rather certain we will invest in a CB and a LB. If we play with 3 at the back, then I d like us to go for Upamecano, Mukiele, Konate althouth Upamecano just signed a new deal with his current club and if we go with 4 at the back, then we should go for Koulibaly, Ruben Dias, I. Diop, Tarkowsky, Djene, Pau Torres, Diego Carlos or Fofana. As for LB, I think we should have a really good look at Estupinan as we cannot afford Man U bound Chilwell. There are also the Grimaldo, Gaya and Firpo options.
So, possible defensive line-ups
with 3 at the back when all fit:
A team: Bellerin, Mukiele, Luiz, Mari, Tierney
B team: Cedric, Mustafi, Chambers, Saliba, Estupinan
with 4 at the back when all fit:
A team: Bellerin, Dias, Luiz, Tierney
B team: Cedric, Mustafi, Mari, Estupinan
Given that Luiz is with us another season, I d rather play 3 at the back although I like the systems with 4 at the back better but we cannot take a chance with him and Xhaka…
PS: Apologies if there is any mistake or issues with the post format, this is my first time posting…