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Next summer’s transfers: the most likely prospects

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A walk on the wild side; not football, just weird

There is an argument that I have had sometimes about whether players who step up from the reserves or who come back from a very long injury period are like “new transfers”.

Personally I do count these as new players – so to my mind apart from the official transfers in from other clubs we had last summer I would say that this season we have also transferred in…

  • Wilshere
  • Schezney
  • Djourou.

All have been at the club for a while – and Djourou had of course started to make an impression before being out for a year with his injury.   But no one quite knew how ready they would be this season – and I must admit that even though I have seen Jack play in the reserves and watched him in his loan spell last season I had no idea just how good he was, and how ready he was.

Actually there are some other players who could come into this list of “new” players – but I don’t want to push my luck – three will do.

Which raises the question, who will break through next season – or perhaps even before the end of this season?  Who will appear as if they are new transfers?

The point is that while there will be the normal howls of demand for big money transfer, if this year is anything to go by, we’ll have three or maybe even four “new” players stepping up, before we even spend a single penny.  Which apart from anything else, with the 25 rule entering its second year means we are going to watch how many players we take on (although of course the younger ones don’t count towards the total.

In terms of the injured there’s Frimpong and Ramsey.   Who knows what state Frimpong will be in, and just how good he might be, but since I am only dealing in possibilities he’s on the list.   Ramsey is currently playing with Cardiff and according to reports is doing a solid job, just as he did with Nottingham Forest, and is playing the whole 90 minutes.

As for the rest…

Carlos Vela is now on loan  at WBA, and his fading away was a real disappointment for most of us.  I really thought he was on the ball and ready to roll – especially with his early performances.   I’d love to see him come back stronger and at full first team level next season.

Kyle Bartley has utterly amazed me.  Did you ever imagine that an Arsenal reserve would go on loan to Rangers and slot straight into their first team.  He’s actually playing defensive midfield there – so maybe he will be the backup to Song.  I’d give him a fine chance of making it next season

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is so tantalisingly close, but isn’t quite there.  I can’t believe that after all this build up he’s not going to make it, but there must be a chance.  The impression I get from the Cardiff reports is that he is trying too hard to be clever rather than play his natural game.

Henri Lansbury scored against Tottenham in the league cup and scored last weekend for Norwich against Reading.  Also playing for England under 21, in case you didn’t notice.  His brief first team appearance at the end of last season was electric, in my view.

Craig Eastmond is one who I really thought was ready, but he’s not picked for every Millwall game in central midfield.  Maybe, maybe not.

Vito Mannone: we all remember his heroics last season against Fulham, but the chopping and changing in the world of goalkeepers this season means I have no idea where he is placed in the hierarchy.   He who was fourth is first, as a student of the bible might say.

Sanchez Watt playing against us didn’t look to me like a player about to make the breakthrough.

Benik Afobe couldn’t play for Huddersfield against us, which was a shame.  I am sure this guy is going to make it but maybe there’s another year in waiting first.

Mark Randall is with Rotherham United and I guess his time at Arsenal’s level has gone.

Gavin Hoyte ditto – having done it with Brighton he’s now with Lincoln.

Ryo Miyaichi is the superstar Japanese player we signed this year who is now with Feyenoord and who scored on his debut.  I have no idea what the work permit situation is, but this guy could be going somewhere special.  But another year on loan first?

Gilles Sunu and Francis Coquelin are both in France, and I have always thought both could make it.  Sunu is still a year away, but Coquelin could come in next season as a reserve full back if Traore leaves.

Armand Traoré is at Juventus – which is as bizarre as Bartley being at Rangers.  But Armand seems to have been injury through most of the season.

Wellington Silva has gone to Levante after his work permit was turned down.  I suspect that means two or three years in Spain getting the passport.

Pedro Botelho is playing in the Spanish second division – and as this is his third year in Spain I begin to wonder if it is leading somewhere or not.

Samuel Galindo joined us last summer – he’s a Bolivian who started playing for their national team aged 17.  Working his time in Spain to get the permit to play here.

Ignasi Miquel has come up through the Reserves and has been on the bench several times this season.  Could he be the other central defender that everyone is wanting?  I suspect so.

That’s getting on for 20 players – and I set myself the task of finding three of them who will do what three young players have done this season for us – fit smoothly into the first team.

I am going for Aaron Ramsey as the obvious player to re-enter the team, but I am not counting him since he’ll come back this season.   So instead…

  • Ignasi Miquel as a central defender
  • Kyle Bartley in central midfield
  • Carlos Vela to regain his poise and scoring abilty

Outside chance Henri Lansbury as backup to Nasri.

For all the latest on young players try http://younggunsblog.co.uk/

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58 comments to Next summer’s transfers: the most likely prospects

  • gfd

    frimpong looked good too.

  • Byo

    From my research, I look forward to Frimpong, Lansbury and Bartley to make the step up.(Not counting Ramsey). And I see Rosicky and Denilson moving on.

  • Paul C.

    Although Bartley played central midfield for Rangers last weekened, it was against poor opposition who Rangers hammered. I think his future still lies at the back, but it is great he has additional strings to his bow. For those who lamented letting Nortdveit leave, Bartley is the reason why we let him go.

    The rap on JET seems to be his fitness. He just doesnt train hard enough. That is what people have been saying for 3 years now. He is plenty talented enough.

    Lansbury will be given a chance next season. He is at the right age now. He can play all across the midfield so his versatility will be to his advantage.

    My three would be:

    Frimpong
    Bartley
    Lansbury

    Coquelin very close as well.

    Miyaichi is a wild-card. Supposedly he looked fabulous for Feyenoord last weekend. A few more performances like that and he could force his way into the top-3.

    Next year Aneke and Afobe will go out on loan at a higher level.

  • realistic tony

    just need a centre back as TV5, djourou and kos are all we have. not sure whether bartley will make it..i hope so, but it could be another gamble when really we are good enough all over the pitch to justify a top quality centre back.

  • utshav

    what about Aaron???

  • A well thought through post. I’m hoping Vela gets some chances at WBA, it’s good that he has to fight. Jack didn’t walk straight into the Bolton team, instead he earnt his place and was better for it.

    Also, Ryo didn’t score on his debut, it was his second game for them (it was his home debut mind). Not sure what to think of him, he’s dazzling for someone that has played only 2 professional games in his life but consistency is key and it will be interesting to see if he can keep going through the season.

  • Renan

    Coquelin was already better than Frimpong when he left us. He’s playing week in week out at Lorient so surely he’s gonna make it ! I also have big hopes for Botelho, he’s probably been the best player in Liga Segunda he could be our Michel Bastos in less than 2 years. Not sure why you said that Frimpong will slot in straight away next season. I still think he needs a loan spell in a Premier League club, or more realistically in the Championships or SPL.

  • David

    Really really nice article, I think its reasonable to even add diaby to that list of new signings…I believe next season he could really kick on imagine him staying fit and playing consistently perfect back up for song……..

    First team squad could be imaginably talented and deep

    ……………………..Sch/Fab…………………………

    Bak/Eboue…….Djo/Kos……..Verm/Barltey……..Clichy/Gibbs

    ———–Ramsey/Diaby——–Song/Lansbury——————–

    Walcott/Bendy———-Cesc/Wils——————Arshavin/Samir

    ———————–V.P/Chamakh——————————

  • dw

    My top 3 for next season is.
    Beltelho
    Lansbury
    Jet
    I think players like ramsey is a first
    Team player i think he is cecs understudy.
    Lansbury will take denilson place next season.

    More then 3 players will be comeing up the ranks
    For arsenal ,this is arsenals golden generation.
    This is like when beckham shoels butt gary and
    Philip nev and giggs came around the same time

    We have jack wilshere gibbs jet frimpong lansbury
    Ramsey comeing up at arsenal at the same time.

  • dw

    Botelho is a giant left back he is
    A tall alves.if arsen can get him to
    come back next season because
    He has a spanish passport now

  • dreddy

    I have to say that I don’t see much hope for Miquel, Vela, Galindo, Traoré, or Eastmond.

    Vela is very disappointing right now.. will all the Talent he has… I don’t believe he has the drive to WANT to be better. He’s too relaxed… Galindo.. hopefully will do well next season when he ACTUALLY starts playing.. but that’s a BIG IF!

    Traore’s as good as gone.

    Eastmond is just too weak for this level.. physically.. he’s weak… But if he beefs up and gets more stuck in.. he MIGHT.. make it. I say the best bet for next season would be Lansbury and maybe Bartley who could well be a good backup for Song.. although Coquelin might come back and surprise us. What we do need is a proper backup for Sagna…which we don’t have in Eboue. Frimpong is a possibility, but where will he fit if Bartley performs well in that role. He’s tall, strong and passes well… at 6’4″ he’d be a proper DM for us. So now we’ll have new players fighting for 1 spot. Lansbury will keep Denilson out.. so he should move on. For that matter, Wilshere and Ramsey would most likely play the same position so no space for Denilson at all! Even Diaby would struggle to get a foot in this team except against more physical teams.

  • nicky

    Liked the article AND all the comments. We sure have a list of youngsters on our books. There is much joy and sadness, though, in the offing.

  • Bishop

    My top three will be:

    Lansbury
    Ryo Miyaichi
    Frimpong

    With Ryo, I think we have a big player in our hands – watch this space! His debut with Feyenoord was class, he also scored in his second game over the weekend. This guy has got speed, close control and a fantastic technique.

  • Edda

    I think Ryo could make the step next year already, he looks really promising from what i have seen the 2 matches he have played. The prospect of him and Wilshere playing togther in an Arsenal-team is mouth-watering.

    Want to add one thought on Jack Wilshere too. He’s breakthrough this year has been really amazing, and i am 100% sure that a breakthrough like that would never happen in another “top4” club. This is what our (AW’s) policy is all about. Actually i cannot see ANYONE available last summer that could made such a huge impact that Jack has done for us this season. Not even 20-30m pound wouldnt get us someone as good as him.

  • Wrenny

    For me Bartley, Botelho and Coquelin will be the ones with the best chances of getting into the first team squad next season. (Ramsey and Vela are already part of that set-up)

    Coquelin seems to me a very underrated talent, I think he is a very intelligent and complete midfielder, as well as a very capable RB. I’ve watched a couple of his Lorient games and to me he looks ready for a place in the squad. As much as I like Frimpong and Lansbury I think they’re still a little one-dimensional to be trusted with first-team games. Lansbury’s fitness and defending don’t seem up to standard just yet, and Frimpong is strictly a destroyer.

    Botelho’s been out on loan so long that he’s gone very much under the radar, a forgotten man. But he’s been one of the best players in the Spanish Segunda this season and has both Spain’s and Brazil’s U21 sides fighting for his services. Whether he plays at left back or left wing he always seems to impress.

  • I could be quite wrong on Bothelo as I have not seen him play for ages – so I’ll happily back off on that one.

  • critic

    and sorry guys for not commenting anything on the relevant topic. But arsenal is the most relevant one i guess.

  • Dark Prince

    I think the problem comes when they have to enter the 1st team squad. I dont think that other than Ramsey and Frimpong, anyone else can make it. The reason is simple- we have too many quality players at every position. Will Vela be chosen over Nasri or Arshavin at the left forward position?? I dont think so. Bendtner has a better chance to come at that position than Vela. Even Ramsey will find it tough. Who will you remove from the starting 11 to accommodate Ramsey?? He will be a substitute at the best. Even Lansbury will find it tough. Frimpong though has a good chance to get selected above Denilson. Wellington Silva and Benik Afobe will have to wait maybe more than a couple of years bcoz Van Persie and Chamakh will stay at Arsenal atleast for a couple of years. Even Mannone will be hard to choose over Szczesny. Fabianski too will get a nod over him. Dont know where Almunia stands, but i guess if he’s comfortable to be our 3rd or 4th choice keeper, then i really dont mind him stayin. That brings to our defence, which now though looks short on numbers, but Vermaelen comin back will make it easy. Also cant see any youngster makin it into the defensive department. If i’m not wrong, Eboue has extended his contract, so he and Gibbs will be ahead of all full backs in the line up. Koscielny and Squillaci too will retain their places after Vermaelen and Djourou. So its gonna be tough for almost all the youngsters in the waiting list.

    However, Whatever i’ve said above can all go wrong if Arsenal again have a bad series of injuries. But if Arsenal can maintain their injury list as they have done this season, then i dont see anyone making a big impact in the starting 11 other than Ramsey.

  • Paul C.

    Critic – it is a nice article but I disagree with the central premise that the writer has that AW is the only one who has been able to manage his club according to finances. Fergie has ALWAYS done that as well. It isnt his fault that Utd are deep in debt. Fergie has never spent what he didnt have, and always managed his transfer budget closely. Utd just happened to have deeper pockets than everyone else.

  • Paul C.

    Dark Prince – absolutely. The “break-throughs” that are being debated are squad break-throughs at best right now. Like you, I see only Ramsey as capable right now of coming in and challenging for a first team place. Bartley has a chance to be the No.4 central defender ahead of Squillaci, but TV, JD and Kos look set to be our primary central defenders for a couple of seasons at least.

    That is why versatility is so important. Lansbury can play across midfield, so that will stand him in good stead, as will Bartley’s current experience of playing midfield.

    But I think this confirms the way the team will develop in the coming years. The youngsters coming through will supplement the squad, leaving AW able to save his money for those true “top” players that can actually make the 1st team better. Who that is I have no idea. When fit, I would put our 1st choice 11 (especially with its age profile) against any team in Europe.

  • Wrenny

    Dark Prince,
    It will certainly be very difficult for any of the on-loan youngsters to break into the first XI, practically impossible in fact, but we are speaking about them simply breaking into the squad.

    Having said that, who would have predicted in the summer that Walcott (21), he of no footballing brain, would become a regular at the expense of Arshavin (29)?

    Or that Wilshere (18) would steam past Diaby and Denilson and become a crucial cog in our midfield? The boy was meant to go back to Bolton for another year!

    Or that Djourou (23) would emerge from a year on the treatment table as the most powerful, aerially dominant defender we’ve had in some time and erase any memory of Gallas?

    Or that Szczesny (20) would go from Brentford in League One fourth in our pecking order to Arsenal’s no.1?

    Expect the unexpected! 😉

  • Paul C.

    Wrenny – and who would have expected that RvP would get injured again? And that Diaby would have an inconsistent injury-filled campaign?

    D’Oh!!!!!

    Oh well, sometimes we can expect the expected I guess! 🙂

  • Dark Prince

    I think this summer we’ll be facing a tough time making decisions on certain players:-

    1. The GK Spot- who is our number 1 choice? Is Almunia ready to stay as our 3rd choice keeper? Is Mannone happy to go out on loan again??

    2. Does Vela have a the patience to wait for atleast one more year before making it in our 1st team squad? Bcoz i dont see him goin ahead of Nasri or Arshavin.

    3. Eastmond clearly lacks the physical strength to be as a defensive midfielder in a physical league like EPL. He reminds me of Denilson. Should he and Denilson, in this case, be converted more into an attackin midfielder??

    4. Who is better – Frimpong or Coquelin? Who will be ahead in the DM department?

    5. Will Squillaci continue to be ahead of the youngsters in the defensive department??

    6. Traore may not surpass Gibbs in the Left back throne. So what to be done about him??

    7. Who will challenge Sagna and Eboue at the right back position? At the moment, no one…

    8. Does Bendtner also have patience to wait for his turn?? Also can JET ever be our number one striker??

    9. Will Ramsey ever have regular starts when we already have Wilshere, Song and Cesc in the midfield??

    10- Is there any room to sign any other player like Hazard or Chamberlaine?? Especially when we have the 25 man squad limit rule…

  • Dark Prince

    Wrenny- yeah expect the unexpected 🙂
    But i hope the team we have now is the team we can carry on with the next season as well. I’d love to see Vermaelen and Ramsey added to this team also. But dont know where others will make it. Though i hope whoever performs best will get the 1st choice.

  • Paul C.

    DP – What are your answers to your own questions? My answers to your questions would be:

    1. Chesney No.1. Almunia gone. Mannone No.3.
    2. Vela gone. Miyaichi in.
    3. & 7. – Eastmond played right-back through his youth career. Once again, versatility. I see him coming back and being held as No.3 rightback and occasional midfielder.
    4. Who knows which is better? Both Frimpong and Coquelin will get a chance next summer to compete.
    5. Squillaci will probably be ahead of Bartley, Miguel etc. at the beginning of next year. Maybe not by the end of the season.
    6. Troare gone.
    8. If a big bid comes in for Bentdner he’ll be gone, otherwise he has no choice but to be patient. JET is lazy. He needs to grow up.
    9. Yes, I think Ramsey will get regular starts once he comes back to full fitness. Remember he had forced his way into the first choice midfield last season when he got injured. The kid is a huge talent. He will be a regular starter.
    10. There is always room if you are willing to offload players as well (such as Vela or Bendtner or whomever). If a player is better than what we have then there is always room. Someone like OC would go into the reserve system or be loaned out until he was older and stronger.

    What do you think?

  • xD

    Arshavin only has another two years at the top at very best and even less than that for TR7 – leaving room for Ryo and Wellington to come into the squad (or Hazard signing). Denilson will probably leave, which would allow space for Ramsey and Lansbury. Frimpong as Song cover/rotation. Bendtner could well move on for regular first team action – leaving room for Vela. With Chamakh as back up for VP’s inevitable early/mid/late season crock (no one would be brought in as it seems to me that Afobe is being touted as some kind of future superstar). The future looks bright and it also looks like if a big player does become available then Wenger will be able to move for them due to the lack of potential squad strengthening signings needed. The youth systems benefits are begining to be reaped. We shall follow the Barca model of predomintantly academy squad offset with the world’s best!

  • Wrenny

    Paul,
    Hehe, yes some of the injuries are terribly predictable 😀

    But there was a point where many thought Rosicky would never play again or at least forever be blighted with injuries. But since he’s come back I can’t even remember the last time he picked up a knock. Although I do acknowledge that he hasn’t played regularly so hasn’t been as physically tested as he could.

    I’m still quite hopeful the likes of RVP, Diaby and Gibbs can also get past their injury problems. I believe the trouble in the past, especially with Van Persie, has been that we didn’t have the squad depth to allow players recover at a steady pace. It’s still early days but I think RVP’s gradual re-introduction this season has really built up his strength and durability.

  • shakabulagooner

    Great article and contributions thus far.
    It gets clearer from here on where the Wenger experiment with Youth is taking the club to. More so, if you imagine the list of 18 or so players challenging for first team shirts can still be joined by 2-3exceptional players (Sakho, Hazard and the East European right back for example) form outside the club. We have an emerging situation that looks like this:
    1. Extremely keen competition for shirts in all the positions.
    2. Having 2 very, very strong squads such that key players can be kept fresh by not having to play all games.
    3. Having the depth and flexibility to weather injuries in any position.
    4. Early sale of aging stars and strategic sales of good but not good enough emerging stars – to keep us making money in the transfer market.
    There is also the added advantage that Arsenal is set up to give exceptional young stars very early opportunities to make their mark and that it never hurts anyone’s career to have been trained by Arsenal.
    I trully expect that Arsenal trophy cabinent will greatly swell in the coming years on account of how it has carefully set itself up for the coming years.

  • Dark Prince

    Paul C- my answers would be-
    1. Szczesny no.1, Mannone 2nd choice. Sell or loan Fabianski and keep Almunia as 3rd choice. James Shea as 4th/Reserve

    2. I’ll keep Vela, so that he can come in once Arshavin is too old. Maybe from 2012-13 season, Vela will be good. Miyachi though has his work permit to be settled. I dont see him comin in b4 2012-13 Season. For me, we should replace Rosicky and Arshavin with these both by 2012-13.

    3. & 7. Cant see Eastmond as a potential future replacement for either Song or Sagna. I’d rather scout for a young right back who can replace Sagna and Eboue in 3-4 yrs

    4. Only of them can be tried in our 1st team squad next year and that also only as substitutes. The other one will have to go out on a loan.

    5. I think by next year, we.ll have to find a replacement for Squillaci, either Bartley or Miquel will have to step up.

    6. I’d keep Traore till Clichy is old. But that means another 3 yrs. What would we do with him till that time? I dont kno…

    8. I’d keep Bendtner. He’s versatile as a left/right forward as well as central target man. But he should learn to be patient.

    9. Ramsey definately will start regularly but only if there is a fixture congestion or if there is an injury. Or else can see him only as a substitute.

    10. Dont think Hazard is comin. But Chamberlaine will be a good addition for the right flank where Walcot has a monopoly now.

  • Paul C.

    DP – Hmmm, loan Fabianski? Interesting. I dont think Eastmond is a future 1st team player AT ALL, but if you are talking about cover for Sagna and Eboue as well as an extra body in midfield, then he would be ideal. Home grown players are always best to fill the squad, since they will generally accept less playing time. Sagna has LOADS more football left. No reason to look for a replacement for a few years yet. Same with left-back. With Gibbs and Clichy we could be set for the next decade. Anyone else is just a fringe player and even someone like TV, being left-footed, could cover there. Who has the depth at right and left-back as we do already? We are very fortunate at full-back right now. Dont get greedy. 🙂

    I wouldnt say Walcott has a monopoly on the right flank. Nasri was outstanding there for most of the 1st half of the season (while Walcott was injured). And Bentdner has shown he can play that role very well also (since it is effectively an additional striker).

    I think you are underestimating Ramsey. I put him squarely in the Wilshire/Cesc level as far as talent is concerned. I think he will start games whether there are injuries or not. The kid is a huge talent.

  • Dark Prince

    Paul C- hmmmm…i dont think Clichy can stay there for a decade. Maybe 3-4 yrs but then someone (Gibbs) will replace him. But Gibbs, on the other hand, is very injury prone. We might need to have Traore to come in when he’s injured. Also i agree that Sagna has maybe 3-4 yrs left in him. But wont mind seein a young guy in our academy cald as the next sagna 😉
    Also, Ramsey is clearly as good as Wilshere. But dont think either of them is presently as good as Cesc. But it would be tough choice to choose between Ramsey or Wilshere. I dont see Song or Cesc out of the starting 11. And unless Wenger changes his formation into a 4-4-2, i dont see both of them starting together in the next season. Also i believe that if at all Cesc gets injured next season, then Wenger will use Nasri in Cesc’s role rather than Ramsey.

  • dw

    Ryo will make it aswell he just
    Need to bulk up a bit like walcott
    Did this season, what i dont understand
    Is ryo and wellington are the
    Same age and play the same way
    Direct wingers they play on the left.
    Ryo could have the eage because his
    Both footed.
    But i think wellington can beat a player
    With skill or speed,

  • Wrenny

    Some very interesting discussion going on 🙂

    RE: 10 questions, I’m pretty much in agreement with Paul’s answers except for one – Bendtner.

    I think Wenger rates him very, very highly and would do everything to keep him, and I hope that we do. I think Bendtner is criminally underrated by some, seen as nothing more than a target man. But I see him as being a quick, skillful and creative centre-forward, a Berbatov rather then a Heskey.

  • Dark Prince

    Wrenny- dont insult bendtner by comparin him to berbatov!! Bendtner, for me, is more like a Van Persie who can play anywhere upfront. All Bendtner needs is consistency.

  • RedGooner

    The players that excite me the most and look very close to been ready are.

    Coquelin
    Lansbury
    Frimpong
    Myiaichi

    Im at a loss though to explain what Spain s doing for our young players and think the whole project should be pulled or new teams in spain found for them.

    Every player who has gone there either went backwards aka Vela or has had serious bust up’s with coaches etc,

    France and Holland seem to be the place for developing them further. Better coaches better youth set ups than at the likes of levante and more oppertunities.
    I wouldnt be surprised if wellington desilva goes backwards like Vela did with to much time in the wrong place.

  • Paul C.

    DP – agree with regards to Bentdner. It would take a massive bid for us to let him go, especially as he comes into his prime.

    Yeah, Clichy wont be around for a decade, but hopefully Gibbs will be. I just think you start the succession planning when the guy is 30-31 (unless there is an absolute talent out there that can replace immediately). I think it is still WAY too early to start thinking about who takes over from Sagna and who will eventually understudy Gibbs.

    Regarding Ramsey and the midfield – I think there will be plenty of games to go around for everyone. I really dont think AW had any intention of playing Jack 50 times at 18/19 and even next season, he will still be only 19 when the season starts. He is still very, very young to be playing week in and week out. I agree that Nasri is currently first in line for Cesc’s role, but that will also develop as Jack gets stronger. I can see plenty of times next year when we might go with Cesc/Ramsey/Song, Cesc/Wilshire/Ramsey, Nasri/Diaby/Song, or even Wislhire/Ramsey/Song as our midfield. I just think that as long as we play 3 in midfield, and play 60 games in a season (hopefully), then we have 180 midfield games to go around. Even if you say Cesc is getting 45 of them (most League and CL matches) that still leaves a huge number of games to divvy up between players.

    Remember we dont really play a “holding” midfielder anymore. We play 2 midfielders behind an attacking midfielder. That formation gives us loads of scope to play Ramsey and Wilshire or other combinations together and give Song nice extended rests.

  • Paul C.

    And it is funny when you go through our midfield combinations like that and very quickly find the odd man out – Denilson. Even at 22 he could be the one that is moved on. Pity, I actually like the kid. But he doesnt seem to have the pace and still makes too many simple mistakes.

  • gooner80

    I really had high hopes for Vela, his finishing is superb but I dont think he is suited to this league and should just go spain.

    Not that denilson is a bad player but when he was in the carling cup teams trying to break through he looked so much better and in a more forward role, he is not a natural DM but has tried to adapt his game to play probably because of lack of chances

    I was really impressed with frimprong in preseason.

    I think any player trying to break through has to work twice as hard as the man starting. Jack has made quantum leaps this season and took his chance while ramsey was injured. it has been the sheer run of games that has helped him up his level I just cant see anyone getting in without serious injury.

    IO would like theo to become a striker he can still get loads of assists like henry but if he was even 60% henry we would have £50 million striker on our hands

  • dw

    Nasri is not the fabragas type player
    He only picks out passes when hes close
    To the box. Where fabragas gets things
    Started from any where.
    Nasri likes to hold on to the ball before he
    He plays it .
    I think nasri best position is that jack wilshere
    Role he plays there for france .
    If you take a look at fabragas pass to tho
    For van pesie secound goal againt wolves
    I dont think naz would of played that pass.
    The closest thing to cecs is ramsey ,ramsey
    Is not a better football player then nasri
    But has better vision and in tums of style
    Is the only player in arsenal that can do that
    Cecs job.
    Ramsey back in two weeks you will see what
    Im saying then.
    Nasri is a box to box midfield player or he
    Can play up top on the wing.

  • A Casual Observer

    I enjoyed that, good read – I’m glad someone is keeping tabs on them all!

    🙂

  • walter

    The future is bright, the future is Arsenal.
    So let us just start the future this week.

  • RedGooner

    The future when you look at the players on Arsenals books is going to only get harder and harder for these kids.
    Its great for Arsenal football club as the talent we will buy in the future will probably be less in numbers but even better in quality due to those ahead of them in the pecking order.

    I hope so Walter, Barcelona would be a great place to start I think we will shock them 3-1 maybe to the Arsenal.

  • Jonny

    Vela sits on a knife edge at the moment – it’s kind of crucial he starts to show his potential. Wenger has always rated him enormously (and still does) but has clearly not felt ready to throw him on and trust him for the first team. He either goes back or forwards from here but it’s time for him to step up to the plate.

    I’ll be amazed if Bendtner is still with us at the start of next season. To me he’ll never be the player he thinks he is in his own head – until he starts to equate how the world evaluates his performance on the pitch with the picture he has of himself in his head he’ll always struggle to improve.

    It is bizarre – I don’t think he is a bad player but he has often failed to take chances in the past and yet still thinks he is in the top 3 players in the world. His ego is out of sync with reality.

    That being the case he will have to leave because he believes he is too good not to play and I can’t see Wenger giving him the assurances of first team starter (regardless of fitness of other players) plus preferred position. Ergo sum – he’s gone.

    I wish him well but I won’t miss him.

    I’ll leave Frimpong and Ramsey out – Frimpong will make it if he fully recovers from injury (thats still a big if), Ramsey is good enough he just needs to get match fit again.

    Next year should see the rise of

    Bartley
    Miquel

    and possibly Lansbury.

    I think people have been too quick to dismiss JET as a pretender and as lazy. These rumours have gained credence but seem to have stemmed from hearsay and speculation. With Bendner’s departure in the summer a surety in my mind there will be added incentive for him to step up – I truly hope he grasps this with both hands.

    :0)

  • T2T

    Fact: Max 25 players over 21 years old with max 17 not “home grown” on the squad list.
    This year’s 1st team squad (31 players):
    4: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny
    9: Eboue, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Clichy, Traore, Gibbs
    10: Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky, Song, Denilson, Fabregas, Ramsey, Frimpong, Eastmond, Lansbury
    8: Nasri, van Persie, Arshavin, Bendtner, Vela, Chamakh, Walcott, JET
    I have moved Eboue to defence. The loanees, I’ve put them to where I believe they should play.
    So, according to Arsenal.com, we have 31 players in our 1st team squad incl loanees and U21. Next season, Szczesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Frimpong, Eastmond, Lansbury, JET stay U21. Home grown is not an issue for Arsenal.
    Based on this, before selling any player, we can acquire 1 player over 21. The season 2012/13, several move up into the over 21 bracket. When discussing these issues, we need to think long term. Where do we need strengthening?
    GK: Problem solved
    RB: Sagna + Eboue; perfect
    CB: Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, Squillaci; strong quartet.
    LB: Clichy + Gibbs; again excellent pair
    MF: We have so many alternatives – top, top quality
    Strikers: Again, Chamakh came into EPL running and did really well. Now, he can hardly get a game.
    It will be very hard to get top quality in that’s better then what we have. Kyle Bartley coming up looks like a good bet as he can play both CB and DM.
    All this to tell you that I believe we sit quite nicely. AW seems to have the current starting XI when all are fit and on form:
    Szczesny
    Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Clichy
    Song, Wilshere
    Fabregas
    Walcott, v Persie, Nasri
    Subs – take your pick from: Fabianski, Eboue, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Frimpong, Diaby, Arshavin, Chamakh
    Any player coming in needs to be better than the players on the bench. Will we be able to find better players willing to sit on the bench or will any in “the starting XI” accept being pushed out?

  • RedGooner

    The subject of JET is a touchy one.
    I think the fella has all the potential in the world.
    Its not just that hes lazy. Its not just that hes on twitter saying he was out till 4am the night before a match partying.
    Its not even that last weekend he was subbed because he was tring all sorts of fancy tricks “that didnt come off” instead of showboating he could have done with route one football.

    Its a bit like Nicolas Anelka only he hasnt nearly as much talent. Anelka I truly believe to this day still cant get over leaving Arsenal even winning with Chelsea he still has never looked the same.
    JET will do the same but sadly will never even reach the heights of Anelka he has a few short months to sorten himself out and nuckle down to work like Ramsey at Cardiff or see his contract run down and get released.

    Most annoying waste of talent we have.

  • Aaron

    Ok from keeping up with our Youths which i love to do. Here is my opinion.

    Vela… will not make it. As much as i want this guy to. He is given ever chance to shine. 1st Team, Reserves, even his and his agents desicion on which team to go on loan is a joke. The kid harnesses a lot of talent, but i think due to his attitude wont make it. (Unfortuently)

    Jet… will break through, but not next season. His attitude is all wrong. He will feature i think in pre season. As Arsen said the kid is banging on the door. He is basically the main talisman for the reserves. Everything evolves around him. Wenger will sit on this gold mine, Jet has all the attributes like Jack to be an evolved England star… the likes we have never seen before, and i really mean that.

    Bothelo – Will break through. This guy is quick and i only ever hear good things.
    (He’s the dude who runs far and very fast and gets the assist)
    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjA2MTAxODc2.html

    Like Barca we need a B team 🙂 Put all our boys into that, feeder club. Next step for Arsenal!

    Ignasi Miquel – I don’t think will make it, Kyle Bartley i think is going to take his spot in all honesty. Miguel can play well on occassions but really just is not ready. Where i think Kyle is, and by that time it might be too late for Miquel to shine.

    Kyle, Lansbury – will break through.

    Armand Traoré – Wont make it due to Pedro Bothelo. Injury being his main problem i fear.

    Ryo Miyaichi – Is going to be a star. His Debut game, the kid owned, and for his debut home match… he scored as well as played some delightful passes and shots. Tired towards the end, but that will really sort it self out.

    Benik Afobe – Difficult to say, this kid at the age of 17 has a lot of talent, but works well with Aneke and Jet. Those three are basically the unstoppables of the reserve. I think he will break through.. will he make it. I dont know.

    S.Watt, Mark R, Gavin H, – wont make it at Arsenal. Shame, real shame. Will keep on to Watt for longer as he is only young still. But he just doesn’t have the build really. His slight frame, won’t be good enough for Arsenal, with more talent out there. Especially if we land Eden Hazard.. Put him as a striker… and well wow, that’s all i can say.

    Craig Eastmond – is a weird one, he wont break through this season, but will get some more games for sure. He will play a nice holding midfield role, similar to Song i think. We shall see how his time away goes. But i get the feeling he won’t make it at Arsenal, due to other options Such as Frimpong.

    Vito Mannone – Wont make it at Arsenal… Shame really. Kid has talent, but too much to be sitting on the bench. He will move on, plus Martinez is a fantastic keeper. Seriously, Seriously good! Reminds me of Sczc a bit with his agility.

    Sunu – I dont know… difficult to say, going out on a limb i will say he will, but not make it at Arsenal (Really could be wrong here) Has a lot of talent, he came back from injury this season and just slotted straight into the reserves. Hard game against Aston Villa reserves i believe. Looked like he never left. Kid has skills.

    Coquelin – Like what you said Tony, he could slot in right now, but won’t. Will see him Pre Season for sure.

    We haven’t even spoken about Luke Freeman, who is HWWAAAOOOTT. This young striker, playing for the reserves, had a horrible time on loan, injury after Injury. Came back to reserves, against Chelsea i believe, and BOOOOOOOM, scored a fantastic goal against Chelsea just gone to make it 2-2. This kid is doing what Vela should be impressing us with. He will Break through will he make it…Maybe on this kid.

    and lastly Samuel Galindo is a weird one, i personally don’t think Diaby is going to make it. I could be wrong, next season if Diaby can stay Injury free, and show his stint of last season when Sir Frances Drake was unstoppable, he won’t be moved. If not, then Samuel Galindo could be a fitting replacement of that Veira we have been looking for… With added Bolivian Spice… not the white stuff, the skill stuff 🙂

    Rant over… oh i do love to talk about our Youth. Seriously we need a B team in the lower leagues it is getting crazy. Feeder club. Get Get TH to manage, give him some experience for the Managerial role. Arsen could help him out!

  • Aaron

    @RedGooner Jet Will make it trust me. He has way more talent than Anelka. This kid just seems to lead, and control without too much effort. But his attitude needs to change. Send him to Bolton and Coyle will turn this chipped sapphire into a diamond. Need’s a proper father figure. And he know’s it. You hear him talk a lot about his attitude and how is he trying to change it, even Neil Banfield says there has been problems in the past with his attitude. He needs a Scott to really shout at him.

  • lordgunner

    few player will have to leave i suppose it will be
    randall,hoyte,traore,almunia are sure i think.

    i think eastmond could do a gibbs and become a RB if eboue (he doesnt get game) leave.Frimpong will go on loan and coquelin go back up DM. Denilson will go in the summer to make place for ramsey coquelin and maybe lansbury.
    Squillaci could also go with Bartley move as back up cb.Ryo will stay one more season on loan at feyenoord(not strong enought for the EPL yet).

    Actually bothelo could be the surprise next season he is one of the best player in segunda as left winger,spain and brazil are fighting over him .
    I dont think vela will stay one more season in reserve footy and will be sold
    well all this could be over-shadow if cecs leave this summer

    for gk fabianski and chesnay are now 1-2 fighting for number one

  • Dark Prince

    Paul C- 60 games is a too optimistic. For that we’ll have to reach the semis of every competition. I’d rather say 50 games. So its 150 midfield games. Out of it Cesc and Song will definately get 40 games each. Rest we have 70 games and 5 midfield players – Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby, Denilson and Rosicky. And Apart from Rosicky, everyone else is young. So it would be tough to choose.

  • GoonerTerry

    I know its early days yet but I must say that I like the look of Miyaichi – he’s oozing class and personality for one so young…I would add him to Frimpong and Bartley for my three. It must be remembered that these three – along with Jack Wiltshire – have been playing together since the age of 9 or 10! A Frimpong-Wiltshire defensive partnership is especially mouth watering…those two are almost telepathic according to Young Guns…And every so often a player comes along that breaks all the rules (think Cesc)and I think that Miyaichi is in this mould. The ball seems glued to his feet (yes that’s right – he’s 2-footed!) and his turn of pace is like nothing we’ve seen since Henry. He can beat his man inside or outside. He doesn’t knock the ball forward and chase (a la Walcott) – he takes the ball with him like Chippy Brady on steroids! He seems to be able to come to a full stop in the midst of a run; and then zoom! he’s off again…Bloody Road Runner mate..I predict he’s gonna bamboozle defenders and draw lots of fouls in and around the penalty area..And most of all he tackles back! He’s not afraid to get stuck in…can’t wait to get my shirt!

  • Gooner Gal

    I am always wary of writing players off so early in their career’s as Ian Wright, one of Arsenal’s football legend’s is an example of a late developer. Although, looking at the list of the names in the above article Randall & Traore in particular jump out at me as players past their Arsenal career sell by date. They should of been moved on last year in my opinion.
    .
    I totally agree with Jonny’s post @ 10:01 pm, as its more or less what I think too with the exception of Miquel, who hasn’t shown that he is ready for the tough rigors of the Premiership yet. A loan in league 1 might be best at this stage.
    .
    In my opinion JET hasn’t done anything wrong in the few games that he has played for Cardiff. He is definately going through a tough adjustment period and Cardiff FC is a much more intense place than Doncaster or Blackpool. The quality in the top half of the championship is vastly better than it was a couple of years ago.
    .
    I personally don’t think JET is lazy at all, I would in fact agree with those that say he is trying too hard, as he want’s to use this opportunity to impress. I remember Wiltshire doing the same thing a while ago and I think that once he settles into the team, his performances will improve. I’m guessing that Dave Jones has an agreement with Arsenal to play Ramsey for the full 90 mins each games for match fitness and to take things slowly with JET, as each passing game JET is playing more minutes but is yet to do the whole 90. I think we will see in 5-6 games where JET’s progress is really at.
    .
    I have’nt seen any petulant behaviour on the pitch, but do however think JET needs to mature a bit and recognise that he needs to work on his professional conduct off the pitch, as it matters at a club like Arsenal. Maybe playing with characters like Jay Boothroyd & Craig Bellamy might show him what happens to talented players that have learnt quite late into their career’s the hard way. I always thought RVP would be a good mentor and role model for JET to learn from.
    .
    I am not sure if Bartley will breakthrough to the 1st team next season, but he is getting close. From what I saw during his time at Sheffield, he doesn’t shy away from a challenge, has a cool head on him and passes the ball well under pressure. I think he is best position is in defence, but it is good for us that he is developing his DM game too at Rangers. The Rangers manager Walter Smith was a defender himself and I am told he was a very good one, so Bartley should hopefully learn a lot on loan from him. I will admit that I have and probably never will follow the SPL so won’t have a clue how he gets on over there though, unless someone posts Youtube clips.
    .
    Ultimately I hope JET, Fabianski & Lansbury will be among next year’s ‘new signings’. I also hope Ramsey will regain some form by the end of this season and then this time next year 2012, be the amazing player he looked like he was threatening to turn into last year.

  • Shard

    It seems everyone including me likes trying their hand at pulling a Wenger so to speak 🙂 Ok so here goes..

    Vela: Will not make it for Arsenal or in England.Hasn’t been doing well for WBA either. He’ll be a Reyes like loss. A good talent but not suited to England.

    Bartley: Think his future lies at CB. Playing in Rangers in midfield is probably a combination of chance and building his all round play. Should get a chance to impress next season.

    JET: Probably not next year. Will be involved in pre season but unless he does something spectacular he’ll probably go on loan again, if nothing else then to prove that he’s willing to work hard.

    Lansbury: will be a squad player next year. Maybe at the cost of Denilson.

    Eastmond: a tricky one. Coquelin and Frimpong seem ahead of him in the pecking order, but he has more appearences which is suprising in itself. My guess would be loan next year and will make it at Arsenal as a squad player (since he can play RB as well), but no more.

    Frimpong: Was supposed to be part of the squad this year, and should be next year as well. Though if Coquelin outperforms him, he may be sent on loan.

    Mannone: Good, but will want to leave. Szczesny and Fabiansky to be 1 and 2. One of Shea, Martinez and maybe an older experienced goalie to be 3rd choice, since Almunia will probably go too.

    Watt: Has talent but looks unlikely. Won’t be in the team next year.

    Afobe: Here I’m going to stop trying to be objective and say that I really really want him to make it with us. Strikers are probably the hardest to predict. He’s been doing well though his finishing at times still needs work. Should make it, but most thought that about Jay Simpson too. Here’s hoping.

    Randall, Hoyte, Traore: All gone.

    Miyaichi: Think he could make an impact even next year, but probably will stay on loan to further his development. Can replace Arshavin eventually.

    Sunu: I don’t know. Mystery as far as I’m concerned.

    Coquelin: At the absolute top of my list. This guy really impressed me last year, and consistently playing in Lorient’s team probably gives him the edge over Frimpong initially.

    Wellington Silva: Underwhelming so far. Won’t be allowed to play next year anyway in all probability. Loaned out.

    Botelho: Could come in. Think there is scope for him to strengthen our left side a bit. Could be used in the cup games as an LB and Left wing, similar to how Eboue was used. Will come in next year.

    Galindo: Complete unknown to me. Has potential from what I’ve read but surely not next year.

    Miquel: Too early for him. Will be behind Squilacci and Bartley for the CB spot. Will make it in time though. Is tall and has good control on the ball. Can play LB too. Loan next year would be my call.

    So to summarize.. Next year
    IN:
    Bartley, Lansbury, Frimpong, Coquelin, Botelho

    Loan:
    JET, Afobe, Eastmond, Miyaichi, Galindo, Watt,Sunu?,Miquel? Wellington.

    OUT:
    Vela, Mannone, Randall, Hoyte, Traore. (Almunia and Denilson maybe)

  • Shard

    One player not mentioned is Chuks Aneke. A really big talent in our reserves. Probably will go on loan next year. Will face huge competition for a place in our midfield in any case.

  • swikrath

    Unlike many guys here who think Vela wont make it, i have a feeling that he will come good and i must say he has not played enough for us this season.I see him as a replacement to Arshavin in 2yrs time.Will he continue to develop and will his audacious chip flourish is to be seen but i really hope he will come good.. And Lansbury to replace to Rosicky and Frimong/Coquelin to to replace Denilson.

    IN
    Vela
    Lansbury
    Coquelin.

    And i am really looking forward to Ramsey and Diaby to fight for a place in the starting line up.

  • zubeir

    nice article tony,nice posts but guys stop deluding yourselves, you all think Denilson is as good as gone but not me, remember the Everton(away) game??tottham(carling)?? Here is my point, after leading comfortably Denilson can come and make his 10001passes as we say OLE…i dnt think any of Lansbury or Frimpong can do what he can. As for Vela i hope (and pray) he makes it. To me he being effectively performing can go toe-to-toe with RvP, he is QUALITY, #Chip-it-like-…

    Rant over
    my 3 are Frimpong (such a destroyer and his combi with Jack,hmmm…)
    Ramsey(get fit and…boooom RAMBO)
    Vela

  • Rhys Jaggar

    There’s a few on that list who clearly never had a chance if you’re not giving them a chance this summer: Eastmond, Lansbury and Emmanuel-Thomas the principal three.

    I never saw Eastmond play badly for Arsenal but he was always dropped after one game. Quite why, you’d better ask Wenger. I knew all the talk about Emmanuel-Thomas would end up as hot air: knew it. He’s not had a chance either.

    Lansbury might just make it. Scandal if he’s not given a fair chance. I’d lay the chances of him getting it at less than 50:50. I’d advise him to find the most brutal and ferocious sports lawyer in the world to ensure he’s allowed to play for a top Premier League side if anyone tries to stop him……..

  • Vic

    I think Lansbury is a shoe in for the 1st team squad next season. Him, along with bartley, Coquelin, Ramsey & Frimpong.