Next season’s new players: the complete guide (well almost)

By Tony Attwood

Reading some of the commentaries on  web sites concerning all the players Arsenal absolutely must buy this summer, it looks to me as if a lot of commentators don’t want to see any players from our junior ranks being promoted this year.

Which is a bit of a shame, because I think this summer we are going to have the greatest collection of young talent that has ever come through the Arsenal ranks in one go.

We already know that the “Jack Wilshire” emergence for next season is going to be Aaron Ramsey, who would of course have made it this season had he not been Shawcrossed.   But coming up as well is this list of 22 players.

Of course they won’t all make it – some because their talent isn’t quite enough for Arsenal, and some because they have passport issues.  Some will still be too young, but they are worth including just to give us a real understanding of the astounding strength of the youth squad.

I’ve selected the ones that I think are particular talents – and maybe I have missed some out.  But even if only three emerge, that is a hell of a payback from the youth system.  These summaries are quick and simple, and selective.  Please add your comments.

1.      Afobe – striker, highly rated, on loan at Huddersfield, been with the club around 10 years.

2.      Aneke – 18 years old, plays for England, the new Vieira

3.      Bartley – Just read this and wonder: “Kyle’s first goal for Rangers gave his loan side a 1-0 win over St Mirren on Sunday. The young defender headed the only goal of the game after 24 minutes when he finished well from Madjid Bougherra’s cross.” Yes that is Rangers in the SPL.

4.      Bothelo – passport issues so played for UD Salamanca, Celta Vigo and now Cartagena.  21-year-old, left back and left wing.

5.      Coquelin – looked really interesting before going off to Lorient for the season.  Could the reported difficulties with Clichy’s contract be due to the fact that Gibbs is being lined up as the regular with Coquelin as his deputy?

6.      Cruise. England Youth International extended his loan with League One side Carlisle United until January 8, 2011.  Now back at Arsenal (I think).  Played against Olympiacos in Champs League in 2009.

7.      Eastmond –   Played in the Youth Cup-winning side of 2009, then played in midfield in the Song role in the in Carling Cup, followed by league matches.

8.     Ebecilio – Dutch central midfielder recently signed pro contract.

9.     Freeman – striker, played for Yeovil, signed contract extension, now back with Arsenal.

10.  Frimpong – out all season just when it looked like he could step up as a deputy to Song.  After that injury, who knows, but let’s hope.

11.  Galindo – midfield, made his first senior appearance for Bolivia in a friendly against Mexico in February, 2010 at the age of 17. 
   2010/11 season on loan at Spanish Second Division side UD Salamanca.

12.  Gilles Sunu – forward now on loan at Lorient.  Scored for France in the summer tournament final and then vanished for a while with an injury.

13.  JET – playing with Cardiff.   He looked so good, didn’t quite deliver, was unsure at Cardiff (reports of him trying to be too clever) but seems to be settling down now.  “He can shoot, he can pass, he can tackle, he can head, he’s strong and he’s got a good engine. But where on earth will Jay play?” (AFC web site).

14.  Lansbury – brilliant midfielder, playing with Norwich.

15.  Mannone – “done great” when he was pushed into the first team, went to the end of the world (Hull) and then got injured just like all our keepers this year.  Is he on the way out, or just getting experience?  Interestingly I had an off the record discussion with a fellow high up in the world of football, who cited Arsenal’s four keepers at the start of the season as ludicrous.   “They could all be playing,” he said, “but three of them are just sitting it out each week.  Where’s the logic in that?”  Well, now we know.  Four keepers is not enough.

16.  Miquel – I was very impressed with his performances in the Cup.  Not quite there as a regular, but he really is close, in my view.  And we need centre backs.

17.  Murphy – striker with superb potential – but not for next year.  Expects to be on loan gain next season.

18.  Ryo Miyaichi – the whole of the Netherlands is agog over the young Japanese player.   He doesn’t have the right passport, so presumably he won’t be back next season – but I am told that getting a Dutch passport is not so hard as a UK passport, so maybe in another year.

19.  Traore – playing well for Juve, after having an injury at the start of the season.  His staying might depend on the Clichy situation.

20.  Watt – went straight from the youth team at Arsenal into the Leeds United first team.  Played against us in the cup.  So what do we say: Arsenal youth is just a step behind the Championship?

21.  Vela – got the shirt, scored the goals early on, and then…  But on loan he seems to be getting himself back together, and there was such high hope for him.  Was it a blip or the end of the line?  We can’t know until next season.  He’s over age and not local, so he will be taking up one of the valuable places in the 25 next season if he stays.

22.  Wellington – failed to get the passport, so won’t be back this coming season, which is a big frustration for such a talent.  We just have to wait.

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47 Replies to “Next season’s new players: the complete guide (well almost)”

  1. From that list, my three would be Coquelin, Lansbury and Bartley to have a squad role next season. I’m getting increasingly concerned by Gibbs’ injuries – he needs to be training at that age and he can’t due to his wretched luck. Hopefully it doesn’t stunt his development.

    Coquelin’s Ligue 1 experience will be the making of him, and I’d expect him to compete with Song for the DM role, with Frimpong going out on loan. Lansbury’s likely to be Carling Cup until January, where he’ll go out on loan to hopefully an EPL side if he hasn’t made his mark. His situation is very much decided by what happens to our centre midfield this summer – I can’t see him getting games unless there is at least one departure.

    Bartley looks promising, and his Rangers experience will be invaluable. Just a shame his season is over prematurely. WIth question marks over Squillaci, a good pre-season from Kyle could see him as a 4th choice centreback going into the season

  2. With all these great talents fighting for a place in the squad, which senior players will have to step aside? I think most Gooners would be happy if there’s no room left for Denilson when the likes of Lansbury, Aneke and Frimpong comes knocking at the door.

  3. Vela and Lansbury will make it next season and maybe just maybe Frimpong.

    Miquel has been shockingly bad. He is still only 18. When he is 20, I will tell you again if he has any chance to make it here( I seriously doubt it).

    Bartley has the quality and he will make it but he needs one more year on loan at Rangers.

    Eastmond is nothing more than a Championship player.He can not get a game at Millwall.He has to compete with Song,Frimpong and Coquelin and he is not even close in terms of quality.He will never get a game again for the first team.

    Botelho will probably play for the first team next season but I do not know how good he will turn out to be.

    Mannone will always be a third choice goalkeeper if he decides to stay.

    Traore and Watt will not make it at Arsenal.

    Galindo has an enormous potential but we will have to wait another 2-3 years.

    Cruise will never make it here in million years.
    Afobe and Aneke need 3 more years although I doubt Aneke will make it at Arsenal but he is Premier League quality(probably a Muamba).
    Ebecilion simply no.
    You missed Ozyakup in this article.He will make it in 2-3 years if he has patience.
    Coquelin needs more loans.

  4. I think you missed also Arsenals technically most gifted youth player in Henderson. I think he will be the creative part in the CC. But that would also be the end of Rosicky… What a shame our little mozart didn’t come back as strong as he was before his injury.

  5. I think looking at the current squad, Coquelin & Bartley are the two likeliest to get some first team action. With Arshavin’s declining speed and overall game though, I really want to see Ryo Miyachi come in the team, although it might be too early. But the thought of Theo and Ryo (they rhyme too) on the flanks with all their pace would make this team into a whole new beast. I think playing Nasri and Cesc in the middle with Song would be an amazing attack. As for defensive worries, well hopefully Verm will be back, but I want Bartley thrown in the mix as he has been great at Rangers.

    Overall, I agree that we don’t need to panic buy. But do our fans have the patience. I for one am excited about the prospect.

  6. i think jet should cover sagna as a challenge for ebway. pace power height and a threat on the attack. i think he could become the worlds best in that position. seems like he prefers the limelight of the striker though. shame.

  7. Frimpong, n ryo is the two i would want to se in the first team next seson frimpong would have been playing this year if he dident get that injury early in the sesson and ryo is exactly the type of winger we need fast loves one on one good crosser n good shooter i know he just started playin pro and that he is playing in a less better league but the kid got massive potential 🙂 Afobe n Chuks are also two interesting players for the future of AFC. we got a lot of talent in the club and im sure wel have a prim time just like barca is having at the moment in the near future!

  8. I think alot of fans want a clear out of unperforming players at the club and for replacements to come in from a combination of the youth ranks and outside. By underperforming I meant Alumnia, Denilson, Squillaci, Eboune, Traore, Denilson, Arshivan, Rosicky and Vela. I know everyone has there own lists and reasons but those are the players that in my opinion need to moved on.

    I think Frimpong looked a monster in pre-season but then had a very bad injury and agree with Phil he will most likely go out on loan with Coquelin coming back in as back up/competition for Song which I think we badly missed this….lets face it Denislon did not do the job.

    Lansbury is a very good heart on his sleve player I just cant see him getting a game in the middle with all the players ahead of him but hopefully I’m wrong.

    The only other one I’d pick from that list with a chance of making it next season would possibly be Bartley who looks a great prospect. He seems to have it all…. strength, height, strong in the tackle and a leader.

    One of the big things for me this season is we lack width/directness especially when Theo is not playing yes Narsi has done very well on the flanks but Arshivan and Rosicky have not done the job. For that reason I’d love Wenger to buy Ashley Young yes he would be expensive and some fans would say Wenger should not have be so cheap and bought him from Watford. I think he would be a terrfic signing with him, Theo and Narsi rotating on the flanks. Narsi could be moved in the middle if Cesc was having off day.

    We also lack proper backup for Sagna when he has been missing we have been weaken yes Eboune played okay but I really dont like his play acting it brings down the clubs reputation.

    Lastly we dont know how Vermanlen we been next season I think Kozzer has been good and Djourou excellent but again he has had his injuries. If think next year could be abit early for Bartley so Wenger should buy a centre half maybe Subotic we need a beast of a centre half ours a abit to nicey nice for my liking example Vidic WC centre half and tough as nails Utd defensive records speaks for itself they arent playin great this season but as a team they arent conceeding many either. We should take note???

  9. Next season I think the following will make it:

    Bartley – yes
    Bothelo – most def, & qualifies for passport this year
    Frimpong – If he can return to form after terrible injury
    Lansbury- yes, on the right
    Miyaichi – can come early if Japan play him

    I think Bothelo will make the biggest difference.

    Some of the others I just don’t think are good enough.
    However, you never know – if we support Blatter’s campaign we may well see the return of the special talent visa!

  10. John I agree that if Ryo doesn’t get his passport we lack genuine wingers and Ashley Young would be a fantastic signing but I’ve heard stories of both Diego at Wolfsburg and Mata at Valencia being available for around €6m in the summer because their clubs need to sell them so shrewd businessman AW will probably go for them, even though Diego isn’t really a winger.

  11. Arsenal are now reaching a point where the club is practically self-sufficient where players are concerned – the academy together with the scouting network are regularly providing bonafide talents in most positions.

    I don’t think many people ‘get’ that this was the plan all along, to build organically from within. A lot of people still don’t seem to get it, they believe at some point Arsenal will start spending big and often in the transfer market like the Chelseas and Madrids. That as soon as we can afford to this youth ‘experiment’ will go out of the window, a temporary measure while we couldn’t afford to spend massive sums.

  12. @John

    “Utd defensive records speaks for itself they arent playin great this season but as a team they arent conceeding many either. We should take note???”

    League goals conceded:
    Man Utd – 30
    Arsenal – 29

    Shouldn’t they be taking note from us?

  13. Fair point Wreeny I’m not a statics man they appear a much more soild unit than oursleves with Vidic, Ferdinand, Smalling, O Shea, Brown and Evans they have a lot of cover in that area. Charlie I think one of the problems we have is asking playmakers to play on the wing like Rosicky and Arshivan its not fair on them and affects our game. The attacks are too labour and seem to go back and forth across the pitch. Diego is a class player could replace Cesc if he decides to leave. I have not seen Mata so can’t comment

  14. Very interesting thoughts but I am depressed as I have just learnt that Dowd is the referee on Saturday!!

  15. They do have plenty of cover there John, courtesy of keeping players like Brown and O’Shea loyal despite them being bit part players for most of their career. It’s not easy to have that many defenders and keep them happy.

    Yet despite that greater depth they’ve conceded more league goals than ourselves this season, who have only had three CBs to pick from with Vermaelen out practically all season. And of those three CBs, two were new signings. The other had just recovered from a season-long injury after serious knee surgery.

  16. John: I think I’d also get rid of all those players you named.
    Tony: only counting on youth players is not serious. You will jut put too much pressure on young players unnecessarily, and will eventually get injured.
    Don’t look further. Bringing in Frey, Mexes to seal our defence at a cheap price but with great experience would certainly show example.
    Van Der Wiel seems the man to replace Eboue.
    Further up the field, we have enough midfielders, but we still don’t have the right striking mix. Walcott needs to be played as a striker and it seemsto me Rossi would e a perfect partner for him when RVP is injured.
    That would be the bare minimum considering purchase done by City, Chelsea and others.
    Unless you’re only aiming for a top four finish.

  17. Tony, I do not think many will make the break through next season.
    I would argue most are still to young or still as yet have not enough experience to make a difference to Arsenals first team squad.
    Bothelo if the paperwork came through would have Gibbs and Clychy infront of him BUT he is hugely talented.

    Frimpong had the edge as backup to Song until the injury since then Coquelin surely looks to have overtaken him, I would think that one of the two will take a spot in next seasons squad at the expense of the other.

    Henri Landsbury, Its like this AW will either decide he can play a roll in the squad at the expense of Denilson or he will stick with Denilson which mightmake holding on to Landsbury difficult as he seems ready.

    Ryo Miyaichi we wont get a work visa for.
    Vela ? not sure he has a future at the club he could come back and prove everyone wrong but it seems others take their chances better when they get them Bendtner been one of those.

    I hope we force or keep cesc to stay and buy in eden hazzard out side of him not many excite me. Less injuries would be nice.

  18. PS we need a clinical striker like van persie is when fit or Henry was for us of even Anelka. That is probably our biggest concern with all the chances we create our strikers are a bit hit and miss.

  19. Not sure about the comparison of Aneke and Vieira.. Aneke is much more offensive than Pat was. Watt can hardly get a start for Leeds and Coquelin is a DM, not a LB.

    I’m pretty sure JET and Lansbury will be in the first team squad next season along with Frimpong/Coquelin and Botelho, who is getting rave reviews from Spain, playing well as a full back and winger.

    I can see us selling Watt, Vela, Eastmond and Traore with most of the others going out on loan again for various reasons.

    Looking forward to seeing Ryo and hoping JET can fulfill his massive potential. Keep up the good work..

  20. @Uncle Mike
    It’s early days but Aneke does look a super talent, his technique and skill would be sublime for a player of any size let alone for his 6’3″ frame. And Tony’s actually got his age wrong – Aneke doesn’t turn 18 for a few months yet. It’s very unlikely he will break through next season – a loan spell will probably come first – but raw ability wise I think he’s up there with Wilshere and Miyaichi.

  21. Hmmmm…most of those players wont be having any chance i think if we dont sell some players. To make room for them, we.ll need to let go underperformin players like Denilson, Eboue, Rosicky, Almunia and Squillaci. In Denilson’s place, get in Coquelin. In Eboue’s place, we might actually buy that new kid Jenkinson. In Squillaci’s place, get in Ignasi and Bartley. In Rosicky’s place, get Vela and Henderson. In Almunia’s place, get Mannone.

    On the other hand, we should sell off Eastmond and Randall. Frimpong should sent on loan for next season as he doesn’t have any match fitness. Gibbs too needs to go out on loan bcoz his performances have dipped. In Gibbs place, we should get back Traore. In Jet’s case, i dont see him breaking ahead of Van Persie, Bendtner or Chamakh. Either sell him or loan him out to some epl team. Miyachi, Wellington and Botelho shud get one more year on loan as i dont see their passport/work permit issues gettin resolved soon.

    I think the main issues should Vermaelen’s injury and Cesc, Walcott and Nasri’s fitness. If Vermaelen is still injured by begining of August, then i strongly suggest we should buy an 24-27yr old experienced quality defender. We cant take the same risk we took in jan. Also i also suggest we buy an superb winger who can play in Midfield as well bcoz Cesc, Nasri and Walcott are injury prone. Injury to them is inevitable. Hazard comes into my mind. He’d be a very healthy addition to our squad. If we can do all this then, Arsenal should be one of the top 2 European teams next year.

  22. Even with all the changes that i’ve mentioned, if Vermaelen stays fit then i’ve suggested that we only buy one creative attacker – Hazard. I think his addition will bring us more creativity when we dont have Cesc, Nasri or Walcott. Plus he can even play in Arshavin’s position, who i think has lost his edge. Plus he’s young and wants to join Arsenal. Its a win-win situation for Arsenal.

  23. In conclusion, i hope next year we have a squad somewhat like this-

    Szczesny, Mannone, Fabianski

    Left back- Clichy and Traore
    Right back- Sagna, Bartley (or Jenkinson)
    Central Defence- Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, Ignasi (Bartley also included in this position)

    Holding midfield- Song, Wilshere, Ramsey and Coquelin.
    Attackin midfield- Cesc, Lansbury (Nasri and Hazard too can play in this position)

    Wingers/ Wide forwards- Nasri, Hazard, Walcott Arshavin and Vela

    Strikers- Van persie, Bendtner and Chamakh (Walcott too can play in this position)

  24. Very good article, very useful information. I actually really like Lansbury, I was impressed with his performance in the Carling Cup against the Spurs. He has this “direct” playing style that would be very welcome in our team. He has technique but strength and power too. On the other hand I am not so optimistic about Miquel, he has a lot of building work to do (building his body that is) to become a reliable centre back…

  25. Some will make it some not. But even the ones that will not make it will be having some kind of added value for Arsenal in the future.

    I have high hopes of Ryo. I do have a bit of a Cesc-Jack feeling when I first saw him. Not the same type of course but the feeling of : hey this could be someone special.

    Bothelho looks good on some clips but I would like to see a whole game of him before I really can say much about him.

  26. My picks would be Coquelin, Bartley, Lansbury and Botelho for next season.. I’m not sure JET is ready, while Ryo probably won’t get his work permit.

    the only positions we need to buy, in my opinion, are RB and a striker, and maybe GK. I have a feeling we will see Denilson, Rosicky, and Bendtner go, along with Almunia probably. One big signing will happen.. Just my opinion of course.

  27. Let’s be pragmatic here: where, realistically, are there slots available for some game time? Because footballers worth their salt don’t want to be bum warmers. They want to play. They’d do better playing at Bolton, Wolves, Sunderland, Norwich or Brighton than slowly turning into a kids’ coach through having to suppress their desire and competitive streak through 12 months without competitive action.

    1. Goalkeeper. Mannone could fight it out with Szczeseny and Fabianski if he wanted to, but if Arsenal are a serious club they’ll buy a top keeper in the summer.
    2. Right Back: sure, there’s a definite need for a back-up for Sagna. Is there anyone on the list capable?
    3. Centre Back: sure, the squad looks a bit thin, so Bartley and Miquel must scent a chance. Although I’d buy another experienced one in the summer myself. Especially if Vermaelen isn’t fully fit.
    4. Left Back. You’ve got Traore, Coquelin and Cruise fighting for one squad slot. IF Clichy leaves. Something has to give.
    5. Water carrier: sure a back up slot for Song is available. Frimpong was up for it, but there’s a slot there. I’d be surprised if Arsenal didn’t plug the gap with an experienced player though.
    6. Jack’s current slot. Ramsey must fancy that, especially if Jack fancies playing a bit further up the pitch. Lansbury might fancy it also. Denilson and Diaby need to justify their existences. Eastmond needs a storming pre-season or he should seek pastures new.
    7. Right midfield/wing. Walcott and Eboue currently in there. Rosicky can slot in there too. Would Ashley Young fancy it?
    8. Left midfield/wing. Definitely a slot for a Gareth Bale-type who can run at defenders and cross a ball properly. I’ve not seen an Arsenal youngster who can do that, but I’ve not seen most of them on the list. Arshavin is high impact, high risk. Nasri can play there, but is it his best position? Could do with a steady eddy type to complement the squad. Mentally that is. They can be as explosive as they like doing their stuff……
    9 Central midfield. No slots, as Cesc, Nasri, Wilshere are already an abundance of talents. If Messi Mark II is in the Arsenal youth, I’ve not heard about them yet……
    10. Second striker. RVP is there, who’s his back up. Arshavin? There’s a slot there if someone wants to grab it by the balls…..
    11. Number nine. Chamakh and Bendtner there currently. There’s possibilities for a confident young so-and-so to challenge there, isn’t there? And for a 25 goal a season man who could help Arsenal win the Champions League…..JET needs to really knuckle down and have a superb pre-season if he wants to be in there. Otherwise, go see Neil Warnock…….
    12. Fox in the box/pocket rocket. This is Walcott, Vela, was Eduardo. We’ve seen fits and starts from those two, so it’s time for either or both to deliver.

    A lot of the discussion depends on what formations Arsenal intend playing next year. If any ‘big players’ are leaving in the summer.

    And what the Arsenal supporter base will stand for in terms of achievement next year.

  28. @John
    I can’t really understand why anybody would like Arshavin to go… Do you know his stats this season? 10 goals 17 assists (yes, 17!). And everybody says he doesn’t have a good season. Cesc, for instance, has only 9 goals and 13 assists.
    And about A.Young, Diego and Subotic, Uhm…. A.Young will cost at least 20 mill, or, more likely 30. Diego plays well only in Germany (remember his spell with Juventus, he was really crap there), can’t be compared with Cesc not even when the latter has a bad day.
    Subotic doesn’t seem very agile, he played very badly in Dortmund’s last three games and he doesn’t meet very good strikers in the Bundesliga. I mean, his best opponent is a player like Mario Gomez (and, please, don’t tell me that we should buy Mario Gomez, this one is a really bad striker) and the best striker in Bundesliga (Lucas Barrios, yes, this one could play for Arsenal) is his teammate. On the other hand, Subotic’s price would also be around 20 mill and if we really want to buy a central defender I prefer Cahill.

  29. Tony,

    There is no doubt there’s talent and promise in that group of youngsters. JET and Ryo are the 2 standout starlets.

    But are you sure this lot’s good enough to compete against the best PL & UCL rivals? Or do we have to wait another 6 years to find out?

    We’ve been living on the promise of hyped-up starlets for a long time.

    It’s a damn good thing to nurture talent and all gooners are proud of the talent coming through the academy.

    But it’s a fool’s dream to think you can prevail with a squad made up mainly of callow youth.

    The last time Arsenal was really good, the 1st choice players were all men: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Kolo/Keown, Cole, Pires, Parlour, Gilberto, Viera, Ljundberg, Kanu, Bergkamp, Henry.

    We cannot have transitions that are too wholesale and rapid – trying to reinvent the team with a new slate of young inexperienced players and then thinking they can do it. It’s unfair to the young players and to the fans.

    There must always be enough experienced winners guiding the young ones, showing them how to fight for victory and then making way as they hang up their boots or move to kinder leagues.

    Surely Arsene can set up a system that helps ensure smooth transitions. He is paid more than Barack Obama and David Cameron combined for goodness sakes!

    Apart from Cesc, most of the senior squad have not won anything and they don’t seem to know how to win. They have been choking at the crucial moments. Enough of them are mediocre or has slid into mediocrity. What’s the point of paying them top dollar?

    We seem to be stuck in a mistimed transition cycle. We’ve got to break that. The only way this can be done is to get rid of the deadwood and bring in some experienced winners into the senior squad – a good goalkeeper, a big strong defender, a tough midfield enforcer and one clinical goal poacher. Just 4 good signings and we can start winning again. Then the youngsters will learn what it really takes to be champions from champions.

  30. Vela seems to be have been forgotten about, he’s been doing very well for West Brom. Some nice chap has uploaded highlights of his performances and he looks a lot fitter, sharper and hungrier. For anyone who wants to have a look:

    Vela vs Wigan

    Vela vs Man City

    Vela vs Stoke

    Vela vs Wolves

  31. Personally I would like to persevere with the philosophy so far – adding one or two signings and looking to promote through the youth. I’d rather see the club reduce admission prices than splash the cash on transfers as they are far too high.
    First priority is holding on to what we have and then next year the 20-24 year olds will be a year closer to their prime. Ramsey will be like a new signing next year as will Vermaelen.
    Agree with Shard that Coquelin, Bartley & Lansbury could break through. I have never seen Botelho or Ryo play so can’t really comment on them.
    Back to full strength in midfield and attack tomorrow. Lets score a bundle of goals and give United something to worry about.

  32. The most crucial ones for me are Frimpong/Eastmond & JET as a main striker. That’s where the squad lacks depth, even without injuries.

  33. Wreeny I think Vela is a good player but I cant see were he fits in at Arsenal he is not a left winger and the likes of V Persie, Chamakh and Bendtner are all better players especially in our current 4-3-3 formation.

    Sharpshooter untold are supporters of Arshivan and yes he has quality there’s no doubt but only when he has the ball. My biggest problem is the way he leaves Clichy exposed time and again. I would love to see a stat on how many goals we have conceeded from the left….. I’d imagine its afew.

    He manner and work-rate or lack of it should I say also effects the other players….. no one likes a player who doesnt share the workload.

    Lastly we paid big money for Arshivan so he should be scoring and creating goals. When peple quote those statics its like there talking about a player who didnt cost the club £15m quid???? actual most other people who expect a player of his quality to have scored and created more…. especially in a very attack minded style we play.

    As for Subotic, Young etc every fan his favourite players they would love there team to sign. I think the basic point I was making is we have a huge playing staff and think its high time we cut the dead wood out and generate transfer funds so we could purchased players in that fee bracket.

    Dont get me wrong I love Wenger, I love his approach by having a great youth system but maybe the best approach is to say yes we have great centre midfielders and goalkeepers coming through the ranks…. What are we missing…wingers?? okay lets buy them in.

    Its almost impossible to generate a quality player for every position from the youth team… at the same time. Although we are trying Gods knows. Lets not get hung up on an idea and see the bigger picture.

  34. @John

    I agree with you there, but I think it’s not about it being high time.. It’s about it being the right time. The players have matured, some more than others. Some haven’t really proven themselves good enough. With reserves now ready to make the step up (hopefully), we can now release some players, the dead wood as you say.

    In terms of finances, I’m not sure we’re quite there yet. We can certainly afford a big signing, and I just feel one will be made, if nothing but to placate some fans. However, I think it’s once we sign a new shirt deal that we can actually begin to compete. But the pre season tour may well be used till then to generate funds.

  35. Great article Tony. How does this list change when you consider the home grown rule? Are you planning to look at how the 25 rule will affect us next season? I seem to recall that players under 21 at the start of the season don’t count towards the 25, of which we had many this season on the edge (Theo, Vela) who will now count towards the 25 come August. I think any discussion of the shape of things to come must held in the context of the 25 rule and what limitations on the first team it imposes, particularly with regards to signing that world class , that so many fans are screaming for?

  36. Frosty Gooner that’s an excellent point. Arsenal gain massively from that rule and this is why. In a typical season a team playing in Europe can probably expect to use (on average) 2-3 keepers, 7-10 defenders, 9-12 midfielders and 4-6 strikers. That’s a squad of 22-31 players depending on injuries. You can be pretty certain that you will need to make use of your U-21 players in important matches. I think everyone would agree that Arsenal would have the best U-21 team in the land by a mile. Then there is the home-grown rule which applies to any player, of any nationality, trained in UK for 5 years under the age of 21, as well as those with a British passport. Arsenal are one of the few clubs that will be able to provide quality players for each if those 8 home-grown slots. What home-grown players will United use to replace Giggs and Scholes ?

  37. @John,
    I agree with you on Vela – so far he hasn’t shown himself able to perform in our 4-2-3-1, but he is just 21 and has been given few opportunities to prove himself. That is why I was highlighting his performances for West Brom, where he’s been used on both the left and right of a front three and looks to have done quite well. He could be turning a corner.

    “maybe the best approach is to say yes we have great centre midfielders and goalkeepers coming through the ranks…. What are we missing…wingers?? okay lets buy them in.”

    Isn’t that what we have been doing? At least that’s my impression – if there’s a gap to be filled in the squad, yes, we will first look towards our youth for a player capable of stepping up in that position. But if there isn’t one we go out and buy. For example, right now we don’t have a real talent in the RB position in our ranks and the club appears to be seriously scouting a number of RBs – Gregory Van der Wiel, Sime Vrsaljko, and know this young Charlton player Carl Jenkinson are all being watched.

    New signings are the exception rather than the rule (which is as it should be in my opinion, not just for us but for all clubs), but I strongly disagree we’re stubbornly sticking to youth in every circumstance.

  38. @Frosty, Charlie
    It’s so important to take the squad rules into consideration. It’s true that at the moment we’re benefiting from having some very talented U21 players, but they won’t be under 21 forever.

    If my memory serves me correctly, in the summer Arsenal will have to include Walcott, Gibbs, Vela, Traore and Botelho (should they all still be at the club) in the 25 man squad for the first time. That’s potentially 5 spaces that we’ll need to find to fit them in.

  39. Wrenny there’s no reason to worry. This is the current squad situation

    U-21 (6 players no need to register) Szchezny, Frimpong, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs (HG next year), Walcott (HG next year)
    Home-Grown (6 players, 8 permitted): Djourou, Clichy, Denilson, Song, Fabregas, Bendtner.
    Foreign (14 players, 17 permitted): Almunia, Fabianski, Lehmann, Sagna, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Koschielny, Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri, Eboue, Van Persie, Chamakh.

    I expect only Denilson will go from the HG and U-21 players so if players are sold it will leave space for any type of player to come in but also there are already 3 spaces for reserve players older than 21 to come in if they are good enough.

  40. Considering that Frimpong made the squad before his injury and he’s not even turned 20 yet it’s fair to say that he’ll become a big player for Arsenal and Wenger has high hopes for him

  41. This is my prediction. Out will go Eboue, Rosicky, Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci, Vela and obviously Lehmann. In will come a keeper in his mid 30s, maybe Buffon, to mentor Schezny until he takes over as number one in 2 years. An excellent young RB because the squad lacks depth and potential in that position. An out-and-out winger, would be 2 but Henderson and Ryo are coming up soon. A skillfull striker because JET won’t be ready next year, Wellington won’t be elligible and Van Persie needs a back-up. A CB to be what Squillaci was supposed to be, namely a solid defender who is excellent in the air. Bartley might be ready to be that man but I think it’s too soon.

  42. @Charlie:

    I always thought Henderson is a Central Midfielder. I don’t think he plays his best out on the wing.

    My picks are Lansbury, Vela, Coquelin. I can’t wait to see which role will be given to Henderson. Loan, or Carling Cup side?

  43. wot happens next season when the wining craze sets in from pre-season, through mid season until we become exhausted arround feb-march 2012….and the injury saga emerges……………..i guess we’l all say…………….”AW” is at it again!


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