This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It’s clear the North Londoners are starting to pick up the pace in the transfer window and Edu’s arrival may have been the catalyst.
Despite being told to “be excited” for the remaining weeks of the window by none other than the owner’s son himself, Josh Kroenke, some fans are still left unimpressed by the lack of defensive incomings.
Arsenal have been linked with a whole host of attacking options, the most notable of targets being Wilfried Zaha, but this hasn’t stopped fans desiring reinforcements in defensive areas.
After seeing the highlight of last nite match against real madrid, am really dreading for arsenal this upcoming season. Unai, plsssss for the love of God fix the defense.REMEMBER ATTACK WIN U GAMES , A SOLID DEFENSE WIN U THE LEAGUE.
— Harniekhanabasi Felix (@Harniekhanabasi) July 24, 2019
If we don’t sign at least one quality CB, even with the attackers in the team, we’re still doomed
— ???? ™Dat Edo Guy™ ???? (@GainWithDanny11) July 24, 2019
— AFC_Holloway (@afcholloway1) July 24, 2019
Those Arsenal fans are justifiably worried about the defence coming into the new season. Shkodran’s Mustafi is still at the club despite some woeful displays, captain Laurent Koscielny wants out and Rob Holding is nursing a long-term injury.
The lack of links to centre-backs should not be of great concern though, even though a deal to bring William Saliba from Saint-Etienne next summer looks all but agreed is he still only 18 years of age and won’t play a competitive match for the Gunners until August 2020 at the earliest as part of his expected loan return to the Ligue 1 outfit.
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Jurgen Klopp developed his Liverpool side by starting with attacking additions and building his way backwards, with Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum making up 86% of the Reds’ spending in the German manager’s first summer transfer window. The summer after saw more emphasis on attacking signings with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah arriving, and high-priced defensive reinforcements didn’t join until the windows after.
Arsenal, like Liverpool, want to play on the press under Emery, so making sure that having the right attacking players who embrace this and lead from the front is absolutely vital. Then, targeting defenders who can sweep up and tie up the loose ends will be the next logical step.
No-one can know for sure whether this is the transfer policy being undertaken by Emery and the Arsenal staff. However, with highly-rated Saliba set to arrive next summer, it does look as if the Gunners are following a similar model to that which brought Klopp’s men to the summit of European football. It might be frustrating for fans, but patience is certainly needed.