With the new Premier League season fast approaching, Mikel Arteta will know he needs to hit the ground running with Arsenal or run the risk of being on the receiving end of the wrath of the Gunners faithful.
The Spaniard oversaw a disappointing campaign in 2020/21 but was largely spared because of a lack of supporters inside stadiums.
All that is about to change, and to that end, Arteta has to get his selections on point from the get-go.
One player being linked to the Gunners is Lille’s exciting star, Renato Sanches.
At just 23 years of age, Sanches would be exactly the right fit for Arsenal according to former club legend, Michael Thomas.
“Mikel ended the season well and he has a great understanding of the game and how he wants his team to be set on the pitch,” he told CaughtOffside.
“He works tirelessly and I believe the back four, especially with Ben White in it, is the way forward.
“One thing that you may see if he is able to get in the right midfielders is 4-3-3 with one holding player and two No.8’s instead of the No.10 position in use.
“There are a few players we have been linked with that would greatly benefit this system and none more so than Maddison, Renato Sanches and Bissouma.
“Renato is the right target for both clubs [having also been linked with Liverpool]. More so perhaps for Arsenal because of the amount of minutes he would get there.”
Whether Arsenal are able to acquire Sanches or not will, ultimately, depend on how much backing Arteta will receive from his board.
The player is the right age with the right mix of skills, and if the Gunners want to get back to the upper echelons of the English top-flight, then the buck stops with the board.