Is it time Arsenal brought in some older players?




By Tony Attwood

In our recent article on What Arsenal Need to Improve to win the League we reached the conclusion that “Arsenal’s achievement this coming season seems to need to be 94 points, 94 goals scored and let’s say 26 goals conceded.”

And then we noted that “The best total Arsenal have gained is 90 points, 91 goals and 26 conceded.”

So the conclusion was Arsenal are going to have to do better than ever before in terms of points and goal scoring to overtake Manchester City.  And the big problem there is that this conclusion is based on the achievements of the current Manchester City side.   Since the club shows no sign of agreeing to obey the League’s rules (and in fact are doing the opposite by attempting to sue the League out of existence over the claim that the rules are illegal) then we can assume that the very least Arsenal have to do to win the league is match those figures above.

Now there are two ways of looking at this.  One is to suggest Arsenal buy a number of new players who are allegedly better than the team we have, and the other is to suggest that this team is improving all the time and will continue to improve.

To deal with the second idea first all we need to do is compare the final position of Arsenal over the last five seasons.


Season P W D L F A GD Pts
2 2023/24 38 28 5 5 91 29 62 89
2 2022/23 38 26 6 6 88 43 45 84
5 2021/22 38 22 3 13 61 48 13 69
8 2020/21 38 18 7 13 55 39 16 61
8 2019/20 38 14 14 10 56 48 8 56


As you can see the points total has indeed risen each season across the last five campaigns, the goal difference has had a couple of drops but overall has risen by an incredible +54.  The goals against have shrunk by almost 50%, and with the exception of one season in which the goals scored went down by one, the goals scored has been on the rise (up by over 62%).

No wonder it is nigh on impossible to get tickets for Arsenal matches.

But how on earth does the club now go even further in order to catch Manchester City?  Especially when one compares last season with our best-ever season in the Premier League era…


Season P W D L F A GD Pts
1 2003/04 38 26 12 0 73 26 47 90
2 2023/24 38 28 5 5 91 29 62 89


Yes indeed, last season Arsenal were within one point of the Unbeaten Season’s points total, scored 18 more goals than in the unbeaten season and conceded just three more.

The media’s answer of course is to buy, buy and buy, but in fact since the window opened hardly anyone is moving at all.   Arsenal are typical:  Cédric Soares and Mohamed Elneny have left on frees.

And now in fact the media are giving us stories such as “11 players Arsenal could sell in summer transfer window”.  And maybe they could… if anyone is going to buy them.    But they MUST, scream the media, because “the Gunners can ill afford to rest on their laurels.”    (Although the reality is actually that most of the media can’t exist without transfer stories.)

So we have our list of sales: Ramsdale, Tireney, Tavares, Zinchenko, Partey, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson, Jesus, Nketiah  Lokonga.   And the news that “Arsenal missed out on signing Benjamin Sesko” although the reality is that his move was highly speculative anyway.

But is anyone buying?   Well yes, the top spenders are Bournemouth.  The manager has signed a new deal and they have spent £33m on Sinisterra from Leeds and Unal from Getafe.

But there is one other issue to keep in mind.  How old is Arsenal’s team compared with the rest of the league?  Does Arsenal have to move on the old-timers and bring in youth?

Actually no.   The age of the players doesn’t actually relate to the position in the league, although having a young squad that does well means the club has far less reason to buy.

In fact Arsenal had the third youngest team in the league last season behind Burnley and Chelsea.  The average age of Arsenal’s team (average 25 years 62 days) was 1 year 291 days younger than Manchester City’s team.

Having a young team doesn’t guarantee a good league position, but Newcastle’s position of 18th in the average age of players last season and Aston Villa’s 15th, suggest that to make further progress both clubs are going to have to replace some older players in 2024/25.  While clubs like Arsenal can keep much the same squad and watch them mature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *