In a recent blog, we explored that up to a dozen players could be set for a summer exit from The Arsenal.
Including those out on loan, we have 34 “senior” players at the club. If all 12 left, that would leave us with a 22 man senior squad.
Obviously 22 is not enough. We need 2 for every position, a 3rd keeper and then an extra couple utility players.
Premier League rules restrict us to 25 registered players. Although that does not mean we do not have to have just 25 players as U21s do not need to be in the “List A” of 25.
With Champions League football, we need to ensure we have squad depth to compete on all fronts. That probably means a first team squad of 26-27 players.
If we reduce the current squad to 22 – which would be the core players Mikel Arteta has used this season – that will see us needed 4 or 5 additions.
That does not mean we will be signing 4 or 5. I expect us to only recruit 2 or 3 new players, with the majority of our funds going on a centra midfielder.
The remaining players in the first team squad will come from youth promotion.
So who do I expect are the 3 or 4 youngsters to step up into the first team squad next season?
The current diamond of the youth team.
Patino struggled during his first attempt at senior football in the FA Cup last season. He looked a boy playing a man’s game.
A year on loan at Blackpool has seen him grow physically and mentally. He now looks ready to step up.
Patino is the reason we are not looking to recruit someone to cover Granit Xhaka. Patino is the heir apparent.
The right back has been touted as one for the future for some time.
We ended his loan spell with Rotherham early, and sent him off to Coventry. I am not sure why.
Ben White is clearly first choice right back right now. He is backed up by Takehiro Tomiyasu.
White also covers centre back whilst I expect Tomiyasu to be 2nd choice left back next season. That means we could do with a 3rd right back option to cover injury.
Cedric is currently 3rd choice right back and likely to leave permanently in the summer.
We really do not to invest much in that a 3rd choice right back so the promotion of BNC makes a lot of sense.
The situation at left back mirrors what is happening at right back.
I expect Kieran Tierney to depart in the summer. Tomiyasu would then replace him.
We will be in a situation where White and Zinchenko are the first choice full backs, and the Tomiyasu is first choice cover on both.
As above, we then need a 3rd choice on both sides to ensure we are not too stretched.
Lino Sousa is a highly rated teenager that we signed from WBA last summer. He is potentially a long term replacement for Zinchenko.
Only just turned 18, he may well go out on loan next season. Maybe with a recall clause in case injuries hit.
He is already training with the first team, so it feels a natural transition from Tierney to Sousa.
We add these 3 youngsters to the first team squad, and sell/loan out the 12 previously mentioned, we have 25 players.
I would then expect us to buy another defensive midfielder. A big money lad. Declan Rice or Moises Caicedo.
A Rob Holding replacement might also be recruited if Arteta decides to further strengthen the defence.
We might also see a right winger come in if the club decide to cash in on ESR.
The squad is looking good and healthy. It is now about recruiting quality that can make an instant impact rather than quantity.
We then use Hale End to fill those fringe gaps and (mainly) to raise funds for those big transfers.
There are a lot of other talented youngsters in the system. Some exciting players. They need to be kept under wraps right now.
Why is tierney not playing more?
Cash in on. ESR? What you smoking over there?You can expect TWO MF to arrive.One of which is hopefully Ricey.RB ,possibly Ivan Fresneda.Oh & a CF.