How Arsenal will line up in 2021-22

Martin Macdonald
Aubameyang’s Europa League attitude criticised: ‘He’s got to turn up’

Arsenal's decline since the departure of Arsene Wenger as manager has been worrying for everyone associated with the club.

The tenure of Unai Emery didn't work, and so far Mikel Arteta has not been particularly impressive either, even if he did win the FA Cup in his first campaign.

The Spaniard is still in charge for the moment though and allegedly has the backing of key directors within the club as well as the owner Stan Kroenke.

So, Arteta has indeed been given the time to rebuild the squad.

In the 2020/21 season the Gunners finished eighth, missing out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years.

This summer they have already spent big to try and close the gap to the seven teams above, but more is needed if they are to do so, for sure.

Ben White has arrived from Brighton for a hefty fee of £50 million, while promising prospect Albert Sambi Lokonga was signed from Anderlecht for around £17m.

Arsenal remain on the lookout for a striker, right-back, and a number 10, however.

Emiliano Buendia chose Aston Villa, Manuel Locatelli will choose Juventus, while so far they have been priced out of moves for Martin Odegaard and James Maddison.

So, with the players currently in the squad, this is how they could line up this season.

Arsenal XI for 2021/22

Potential Arsenal XI

Potential Arsenal XI

Bernd Leno will remain Arsenal's undisputed number one goalkeeper this season with Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson and Arthur Okonkwo in reserve.

For the majority of the summer it seemed likely that Hector Bellerin would leave which is why Arsenal have been searching for a new right-back, but news on a departure for the Spaniard has declined as the window has progressed, so he may remain at right-back with Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers available as backup.

At the moment, Arteta has White, Gabriel, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding to choose from in the centre of defence.

White and Gabriel might get he nod for now, with Kieran Tierney first choice on the left.

Arsenal finally have options in that position now, though, after bringing in Nuno Tavares from Benfica.

With Locatelli Juventus-bound and Granit Xhaka's transfer to Roma falling through, the Switzerland international will be first choice in the middle of midfield, particularly after his impressive European Championship.

Thomas Partey will be his partner, with Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny available too.

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are two definite starters in behind the striker, and as the Gunners have so far failed to sign a winger or a number 10, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be asked to play on the left with Alexandre Lacazette up front.

Nicolas Pepe, Willian, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun can help out with minutes in the front four.

More transfers in are likely.