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Arsenal's strongest starting XI after the summer transfer window

Mikel Arteta is building a perfect squad at Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta is building a perfect squad at Arsenal.
ANALYST
Modified 09 Oct 2020, 16:40 IST
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One of the most unusual transfer windows in the history of football has concluded. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced several financial constraints on football clubs and many heavy-weight clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United struggled. However, clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur did a great job in the transfer window and strengthened their squads.

Arsenal made three significant signings in the form of Gabriel (from LOSC Lille), Willian (from Chelsea) and Thomas Partey (from Atletico Madrid). Pablo Mari and Runar Alex Runarsson also signed for the Gunners in the transfer window.

The biggest of victory for the club in the window was successfully signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a contract which will keep him at the Emirates till July of 2023.

After a busy transfer window, we look at what could potentially be Mikel Arteta's strongest XI for the 2020-21 season.

(Formation: 3-4-3)

Arsenal
Arsenal's strongest XI for the 2020-21 season?

Defence

Bernd Leno | Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka

With the departure of Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, Bernd Leno stands is the clear number 1 for Arsenal and will take his position between the sticks in the 2020-21 season.

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Mikel Arteta prefers a system with three defenders at the back and Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney will be the Spanish manager's first options to form the back three.

Hector Bellerin, in the right-wing back role, will provide pace and width from the right flank. Kolasinac is an attacking full-back who might feature on the opposite flank, but a number of impressive performances from Bukayo Saka means that the young lad can't be left out of the starting XI.

Midfield

Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos

Thomas Partey will be a great addition to Arteta
Thomas Partey will be a great addition to Arteta's side.

It’s no secret that Arsenal have admired Thomas Partey for a long time. On the deadline day of the transfer window, the Gunners triggered the release clause of the Atletico Madrid midfielder to bring him to the Emirates. Partey will undoubtedly go straight into the starting XI and bring solidarity to Arsenal’s shaky defence.

In 35 games last season, the midfielder made 48 interceptions, 41 clearances and 8 blocks. Partey will also bring some much-needed energy in the midfield and help his team by pressing the opposition. The only question is, who plays along with him?

Dani Ceballos will be a good pick as the Spanish midfielder's plaing style represents what Mikel Arteta is trying to implement at Arsenal. He offers a silkiness in the midfield which Granit Xhaka cannot match.

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Ceballos is also known for being able to pick an incisive pass from midfield. In four Premier League games this season, he has started two and came off the bench for the other two. Ceballos has an assist to his name and can increase this tally if he starts more often.

Attack

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe

Norwich City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Norwich City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Eddie Nketiah has started a few games in the number nine position, ahead of Alexandre Lacazette. However, Lacazette is still a world-class striker and his partnership with Aubameyang will provide a lot of goals for the Gunners this season.

Speaking of the captain, Aubameyang has been in marvellous form since his arrival at the club. He is a leader and he delivered for the Gunners on many important occasions. Is there another 20-goal season on the cards for the Gunners' talisman?

The right-wing spot is more complicated as Arteta will have to decide whether Willian or Nicolas Pepe should start. After his arrival from Chelsea this summer, Willian showed how pivotal he can be in Arteta’s system during Arsenal's opening game of the season against Fulham.

At the same time, Nicolas Pepe is one of the brightest talents in Europe and has all the skills to be a superstar in the Premier League. His pace from the right-flank is a threat to any opposition and his dribbling ability is impressive as well. This means that Pepe definitely has a place in Arsenal’s strongest XI for the season.

Published 09 Oct 2020, 16:40 IST
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