Arsenal could well be set to put together a very strong line up in the 2019/20 season if all goes to plan.
The Gunners initially looked like being in for a long summer, with many reports circulating that they barely had anything to spend, which is not ideal when you’ve just finished fifth, trophyless and have lost one of your best players on a free transfer.
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Instead, Arsenal have perhaps deliberately lowered expectations to spring a few surprises in the market, particularly with their ambitious signing of Nicolas Pepe for what Goal report is a club-record £72million fee.
They’ve also exploited the loan market well with the addition of Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos in midfield for the course of the 2019/20 campaign, while rumours also link them with another smart swoop in the form of Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.
The Sun have been among the sources to link the north Londoners with a two-year loan deal for the Italy international, who looks a major upgrade on the likes of Shkodran Mustafi at the back.
Things are also looking extremely promising regarding a move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, with the Mail reporting on progress being made on the £25m signing in defence.
Finally, speculation suggests there could also be room for one more quality signing in midfield as Gazzetta dello Sport, as translated by Sport Witness, link the club with Juventus’ Sami Khedira.
It remains to be seen if the experienced Germany international would necessarily be first choice week in, week out, but his winning know-how and quality should mean he’s a useful member of the squad to rotate with younger players like Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
Here’s an idea of how AFC might look if they’re successful in bringing these players in…
The line up above is just one way Unai Emery could put his team out in the season ahead, but it might be the strongest way of utilising his new players if he gets all of them.
Tierney and Rugani immediately make that back four look a lot stronger, and like a unit that shouldn’t concede 51 league goals again in 2019/20.
Ceballos can play a variety of midfield roles and maybe even in Mesut Ozil’s number ten role, but we’ve got the pair of them together here, with Khedira the more defensive-minded option to hopefully give that defence better protection than flops like Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny have been able to.
Alex Iwobi aside, that attack now looks a lot better, and if pre-season is anything to go by, one imagines there’ll be room for youngsters like Reiss Nelson to challenge Iwobi for a place alongside Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Pepe’s arrival could mean less playing time for Alexandre Lacazette, but one imagines Emery will also find ways of using the three of them together.
To summarise: This would be just about the perfect transfer window for Arsenal in difficult circumstances, and this XI indicates they’d be much better placed to challenge for trophies and get back into the top four by next May.