There is an opportunity for young Hector Bellerin to make a claim to be Arsenal’s long term right back. Bacary Sagna’s replacement, Mathieu Debuchy, is 29, so he does not have a long term future at Arsenal. We signed Calum Chambers, who had previously played at right back for Southampton, but it is clear his future is at centre back.
Where that leaves us is in a situation where over the next couple of years, we will need a new right back.
Within the squad, it seems to be a straight shoot out. Carl Jenkinson v Hector Bellerin. With Jenkinson currently on loan (and injured) at West Ham, he gives Bellerin a terrific opportunity to impress, both in training and on the pitch.
At this moment in time, you feel that were Debuchy to get injured, Chambers would be his replacement, so Ballerin’s main opportunity to shine will be in the League Cup. He is 3 years junior to Carl Jenkinson and, at 19, certainly has a bright future.
Good performances in training coupled with composed performances when he is called upon for first team duty could ensure that, whilst not this season, but certainly future seasons, he is considered as Arsenal’s first choice right back.
2014/15 is a big season for Hector Bellerin. It could be the first step towards becoming an Arsenal great.
Young Jack is no longer that young. During the course of this season, he will be 23. For a footballer, that means he is entering being middle-aged. He can no longer be classed as someone with potential, but as someone who should be performing week in week out.
He is in a similar situation as Aaron Ramsey was last season, who himself turned 23 in last years campaign. Ramsey turned from being a boy to a man and is now a key man in Arsenal’s first season. Jack Wilshere now needs to make a similar transition to secure his future with the club.
Failure to progress from where he is now puts him in a precarious position. He is currently not a first team starter, and there will become a point over the next 12-18 months when the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gedion Zelalem start increasing the pressure on him even more.
A failure to perform this season might result in Wenger considering selling him. With the likes of Zelalem and Dan Crowley now 17, there will become a time where it would make sense to cash in on Wilshere and give one of them a chance.
Wilshere is on the verge of falling into the same trap as Joe Cole. Continually being considered has having potential without fully fulfilling it. On the other hand, he is also on the verge of greatness. If he makes the same stride forward as Ramsey, he could become an Arsenal legend.
2014/15 is the season Jack Wilshere needs to step up and begin to fulfil his potential.
Mikel Arteta is 32 and entering the last year of his contract. Last season he showed signs of slowing down. A true professional, he would not have been happy with his performances. You get the feeling that his Arsenal career is coming to an end. That if his contract ran out this summer, it would probably not be renewed.
He was still a key member of the Arsenal side last year, playing 43 games. This was more games then he had ever played in a single season for any club. He is our current vice-captain, and works hard with yougnsters at the training ground, providing them with a great role model.
By the end of the season, he will be 33. With Arsenal being linked this season with every half-decent defensive midfielder throughout Europe, it is likely he will not be first choice next season.
He is fighting for a new contract. In the games he plays next season, he needs top performances. He can not look of the pace, he can not look old. He needs to show that a combination of his experience, professionalism and ability means that he is worth keeping around, even on a year by year basis.
If at any point he looks slow, looks off the pace, it will become clear he is not part of Arsenal’s bright future, and he will be told next July that he can seek pastures new elsewhere.
2014/15 is an important season for Mikel Arteta, it could be his last at Arsenal.