Mikel Arteta looks to start the campaign on a high against Fulham.
Arsenal will be playing their opening fixture away against newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday. While the men in white will be excited to be back where they belong, Arsenal has a few decisions to make before the match begins.
Mikel Arteta has been quite active to bolster his squad in the summer window. As he completes loan extensions and signings, plans to finalize the squad has begun. That is where a battle remains – the competition of the old against the fresh legs.
The Gunners have brought in younger options in their defense and the ones to face the brunt are – well, the seniors. As they begin their campaign at Cavern Cottage, squad positions will ultimate determine who stays and who leaves.
Arsenal fortified by a transformed defence
In the previous spells of Emery, Djunberg as well as last days of Wenger at Emirates, the club struggled in defense. While Kolašinac, Bellerin, and Koscielny tried their best somehow the combination fell short.
As the 2020/21 season kicks off, Arteta has a new signing Gabriel ready with William Saliba in the centre. The former Celtic man Tierney as well as Maitland Niles is ready to create a chain to stop aid the Arsenal of the team.
However, though the silver lining entails some bad news as well. Firstly, the team has injury problems in defense – Calum Chambers (knee ligament), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), and Pablo Mari (ankle) are all out.
Secondly, Gabriel is set to miss out too. As a result, Arteta may go with Rob Holding to ward off Magpies’ lean interest. Sokratis Papastathopoulos does stand a chance to start too, but his links to Napoli may keep him off the sheet.
Other than the back four, one of the most difficult selections will be the man between the sticks. Though Leno will definitely be their No.1 for the season, Martinez stands a chance to start against a team like Fulham.
Additionally, the Argentine has maintained that he needs regular first-team football under Arteta, otherwise is ready to move. Football London revealed on Sunday that Aston Villa has stepped up their talks for the keeper. Naturally, it’s his way or the highway at Emirates for the moment.
The Gabonese International Pierre Emrick Aubameyang will continue as the No.9 of the team with fresh signing Willian. In spite of rumors of refusing contract extensions, The Athetic claim that Aubameyang’s contract extension is imminent now.
In the midfield though, Arsenal will most likely go with Xhaka and Ceballos, who returned from Spain for another loan spell. Though they are chasing Aouar and Partey, no imminent decisions have come to surface as of now.
Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez
Defence: Keiran Tierney, Rob Holding, William Saliba, Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Midfield: Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil
Attack: Willian, Aubameyang, Pepe