But Arsene Wenger finally brought in much-needed reinforcements during the final week of the summer transfer window and they should give his Gunners side a significantly greater chance of claiming this season’s Premier League title.
This Saturday, Arsenal make the trip to St. Mary’s to face Southampton and could make it two wins on the bounce after beating Watford 3-1 prior to the international break.
Southampton are yet to pick up their first Premier League victory under Claude Puel but they boast good form against the north Londoners, winning three and drawing two from their last six encounters.
Therefore, and especially with the new signings in mind, it’s crucial Wenger picks the right starting XI for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off.
In case Le Prof needs some advice, we’ve picked an Arsenal XI that will claim all three points against the Saints…
The safest pair of hands in the Premier League, we were always going to give Petr Cech the nod between the sticks. He provides real leadership, composure and experience behind the defence.
Hector Bellerin’s rapidly establishing himself as one of the most exciting full-backs in world football and his attacking overlaps are now a defining feature of Arsenal’s forward play. He’s one of the first names on the team-sheet these days.
Shkodran Mustafi may have just arrived at Arsenal but he should be ready to go straight into the starting XI. The 24-year-old is a very talented defender, with a World Cup title already to his name, and seems like a good partner for Laurent Koscielny.
An absolute rock at the back enjoying his peak years, Arsenal are always a weaker side without Laurent Koscielny at the heart of their defence. His pace could make a massive difference this Saturday upon facing Southampton’s Shane Long.
Mr. consistent, Nacho Monreal is always reliable if not somewhat unspectacular in style. The defensive side of his game has improved massively since joining the Gunners and it speaks volumes that Kieran Gibbs doesn’t get a look-in at the moment.
Arsenal haven’t seen the best of Granit Xhaka just yet and his red card whilst international duty, adding to the three he picked up for Gladbach last season, is a little worrying. But if there’s one thing the Gunners need, especially away from home, it’s someone prepared to get a little nasty in the middle of the park.
Francis Coquelin’s speedy play-breaking provides more balance to Arsenal’s starting XI and could be of pivotal importance away from home this Saturday – especially with pacey duo Nathan Redmond and Shane Long expected to start up front for Southampton.
Arsenal may have purchased Lucas Perez to bolster their strike-force but the speedy Spaniard can still offer a goal threat from the right-hand side. With Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey out injured, Arsenal’s alternatives aren’t exactly outstanding at the minute anyway.
The Premier League’s assist king is yet to find his first set-up this season but remains arguably the most notable threat in the Arsenal starting XI. He popped up with a cute header against Watford two weekends ago and should relish the chance to supply Lucas Perez drifting in from the right flank.
Tenacious, skillful, naturally athletic and always focused on finding the net, Alexis Sanchez is one of world football’s best when in top form.
Southampton have a solid backline, however, so the Gunners need the Chile international to bring his A-game to St. Mary’s.
Olivier Giroud insists he’s ready to start against Southampton and despite the temptation to select Lucas Perez up top, he’s the perfect candidate for Saturday’s fixture.
The Frenchman’s an expert in holding up the ball and bringing others into the game, which will be a real asset against a Southampton side who’ll mostly look to contain.