How Arsenal could line-up with new signings under Mikel Arteta

According to the Daily Express, Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of former player Mikel Arteta as they look to fill in the void left by Unai Emery with a new permanent manager before Christmas. 

The Gunners have been without a full-time manager since the dismissal of Unai Emery in wake of the club’s defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, with Freddie Ljungberg currently in charge of the first-team squad as the caretaker boss. 

However, with Ljungberg only managing to guide Arsenal to a solitary win in his five games in charge as the interim manager, the Gunners have made it a priority to unveil a fresh face at the helm of affairs before the January transfer window gets underway. 

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Mikel Arteta has emerged as the No.1 candidate to take over as the permanent manager at Arsenal (Getty Images)

As per the report, the North Londoners have already held talks with Arteta, who has now emerged as the leading candidate to take over the vacant managerial role at the Emirates, and a potential appointment could see the Spaniard return to the club that he departed back in 2016.

Arteta, who has been working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant in Man City’s coaching ranks over the past three years, is yet to step into club management, but Arsenal believe that he could be the man to bring some of the Spaniard’s winning methods to the Emirates in a bid to turn around a sinking ship.

The 37-year-old, who previously made 150 appearances for Arsenal during his playing days, has the first-hand experience of witnessing what it takes to win back-to-back Premier League titles, and the Gunners would presumably operate under a long-term plan should they end up appointing the Man City assistant boss as their new permanent manager.

Despite some significant backing in the transfer window since his appointment in 2018, Emery failed to reassure the board that he was taking the club in the right direction and an unimpressive run of results eventually triggered the threshold which led to the Spaniard’s dismissal.

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Arteta has made a name for himself as Pep Guardiola’s understudy at Man City (Getty Images)

However, Arteta would presumably receive plenty of backing in the transfer window, be it in January or next summer, to reshape the squad to his liking. 

Ranging from a porous and vulnerable backline to a listless and disjointed midfield suffering from lack of energy and creativity, Arteta will surely need to bring in radical reinforcements in all departments while a few of the underperforming stars could be set for the chop.

With that in mind, let us take a look at how Arsenal could possibly line up under Mikel Arteta with some new signings prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. 

Starting with the backline, lack of stability in central defence continues to be a nagging issue for the Gunners and the arrival of Arteta could spell the end of an unimpressive aging trio of David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis, neither of whom has lived up to the expectations. 

Given that Arsenal spent a staggering amount to get their hands on William Saliba this past summer, the Frenchman would presumably play a regular starting role for the Gunners next season when he returns from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne.

Arteta, though, will need to find an ideal partner for Saliba and RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano (Sun h/t Metro), who has been repeatedly linked with a move to North London over the past twelve months, could be the ideal man to complement his compatriot at the heart of the defence.

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RB Leipzig star Dayot Upmecano has been repeatedly linked with a move to Arsenal (Getty Images)

Hector Bellerin hasn’t been a regular due to his struggles with injuries but the Spaniard continues to be Arsenal’s best option at right-back and he could establish himself as an undisputed starter under his compatriot. 

Kieran Tierney is yet to live up to the expectations since his big-money move from Celtic this past summer but the Scottish international is expected to be Arsenal’s first-choice left-back once he recovers from his shoulder surgery.

Arteta will also need to revamp the midfield, which has been yet another problem area for the Gunners this term and underperformers like Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka could be sacrificed in the market to raise funds for new arrivals. Dani Ceballos has blown hot and cold since his loan move from Real Madrid and Arsenal would rather look for better players in the market.

Matteo Guendouzi, who has been one of the shining lights in a rather lethargic-looking Arsenal midfield, could retain his spot under Arteta, who would presumably look to try and replicate Guardiola’s 4-3-3 system at the Emirates. 

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Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser could be available on a cut-price deal in January (Getty Images)

Ghanaian international, Thomas Partey, who has carved out a big reputation for himself as one of the best defensive midfielders at Atletico Madrid in the La Liga, had been linked with a move to Arsenal this past summer (h/t Metro), and Arteta could look to use his Spanish links to get a deal over the line for the 26-year-old. 

Partey’s physicality coupled with his excellent all-round game could make him an instant upgrade on Xhaka while Arteta could also look to scour the Spanish market for box-to-box ace Joan Jordan, who had been earmarked as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal this past summer. (h/t Daily Mail)

Jordan, who carved out a big reputation for himself at Eibar, eventually went on to join Sevilla and has continued to flourish in the Spanish top-flight.

The 25-year-old looks like a player in the right age-bracket and his well-rounded attributes as a bonafide box-to-box enforcer could make him an upgrade on Lucas Torreira, who might be forced to play a back-up role if the Spaniard arrives in North London.

Well, Partey, Upamecano and Jordan are going to cost Arsenal a fortune in the transfer window, and if the availability of funds poses a problem, then someone like Ryan Fraser, who has been linked with a move to the Emirates (h/t Bleacher Report), could also be a handy signing for the Gunners. 

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Unai Emery’s bid to sign Thomas Partey had been turned down by the Arsenal board (Getty Images)

The Bournemouth star racked up 7 goals and 14 assists in the Premier League last season, and with his contract at the Vitality Stadium set to expire in 2020, Arsenal should look to try and negotiate a cut-price deal for the winger in January, although a free transfer next summer could be a better piece of business. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is surely going to retain his status as the club’s first-choice striker, given his prolific returns over the past eighteen months, while Alexandre Lacazette could be forced to play second-fiddle. 

The Gunners have never really managed to find the right kind of balance in their eleven by playing both the strikers together and it is difficult to see how Mikel Arteta could possibly be able to accommodate Lacazette and Aubameyang in an attacking 4-3-3 system. Nicolas Pepe has blown hot and cold but his massive price tag means that the Gunners might offer him a lot more time to prove his worth. 

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To sum it up, Arsenal’s gamble to appoint Mikel Arteta as the new manager apparently makes sense, given his tutelage under Guardiola, but some significant transfer business might hold the key to the dawn of a better era at the Emirates. 

[Image] Here's how Arsenal could line-up under Arteta with new signings - including this midfield duo 7


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