Takehiro Tomiyasu is not a name many Australian football fans will be familiar with.
Arsenal need new players because the quality of players at the club is simply not good enough.
At Arsenal, things have been tough for Mikel Arteta ever since he took over as manager in the 2019-20 season. Signings in January included Martin Odegaard and Matt Ryan, who showed great intent to further enhance the team, but these are only loan signings and they need permanent solutions.
Although his team rebuild shows potential, Arteta has a long way to go before Arsenal can get back to what they used to be.
At the moment, Arsenal shows a promising youth team with some of the most auspicious players in the league. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock show great potential, and they keep on getting better.
The reality is that these players are only young, and excessively using them will lead to injuries in the future.
New signing Thomas Partey fills in a defensive midfielder role that needed attention, but his consistent injuries make him an unreliable player for the future.
The other new signing, Gabriel Magalhães, will work well in the centre back position with David Luiz and Rob Holding, but the reality is Arsenal need higher quality and more experienced players to form a balance in the squad.
Problems with Arteta’s squad lie within the depth of the team, which is inferior compared to the other big Premier League teams.
If Arsenal wants to compete for the top four let alone a title, squad depth is crucial given the number of games played in a season and the number of players that are injured.
Major problems in the team lie within a few key areas. The first is their lack of shooting opportunities. This is partly because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal’s star striker, has been inconsistent in his form.
The other main striker, Alexandre Lacazette, drops into the midfield far too much, leading to not enough effort going forward.
From this, there is a lack of creativity in the midfield (it is ironic that Mesut Özil left, as he fits this role perfectly). Arsenal needs to fix this so that they can create more shooting opportunities.
Another major problem lies within the various components of defence. On the right side, Hector Bellerin needs competition, given his performances have not been adequate lately and someone else at his level would push him to become better, given competition makes better players.
In general, there needs to be a more experienced centre back at Arsenal. They already have many young defenders, but they need guidance from someone more experienced.
Based on these factors, these are the players that Arsenal should sign for the 2021-22 season.
Current club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: CAM, CM, LW
This season, Arteta has tried out several formations, including the 4-2-3-1, 4-3-2-1, 3-4-3 and the 5-3-2. Not all of these utilise a central attacking midfielder, so therefore it would not make sense to buy a dedicated one, no matter how much Arsenal need one.
Brandt shines above the rest because of his versatility. He can play multiple positions depending on what formation is being played on the day.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to try and find your feet abroad,” said Brandt to DW Sports.
The German is a creative and flashy player, but he also possesses excellent technique and is an intelligent passer – just the type that Arsenal needs to unpick the lock on opponents’ defences.
Current club: Bayern Munich
Position: CB, LB, CDM
David Alaba is an experienced player who won two Champions Leagues, both with Bayern Munich. He has been a stand-out left back in the past, but this season he has been mainly a centre back. He can provide squad depth to these two positions, also playing minutes at central defensive midfielder.
At only 28 years old, Alaba still has a good few seasons in him and he can serve as an influence on the younger players (Gabriel and Holding) who have the potential to develop into great players but only with the right guidance.
“I know the Premier League very well because I followed it a lot when I was younger. I supported Arsenal. Patrick Vieira was one of my favourite players,” he told The Times. This is something that Arsenal would want to use to their advantage if they were to sign him.
Current club: PSV Eindhoven
Position: CM, CDM
Nation: Ivory Coast
Ibrahim Sangare is a central defensive midfielder who provides a generous defensive presence but also affects the attack. He is excellent in the air – he’s tall – and an aggressive tackler as well.
For his market value ($16 million), Sangare is an absolute bargain for the player he is. Although, due to his aggressive nature, he commits fouls often.
Sangare would provide a replacement to Partey, therefore adding more depth to the Arsenal squad. As well, Sangare is five years younger and someone who is looking to make a name for himself in world football.
Current club: Norwich
Position: RW, CAM, LW
Buendia was an excellent player for Norwich last season, despite their relegation to the Championship, England’s second division.
As far as stats go, Buendia made 3.1 chances per 90 minutes. At the moment, Arsenal has no one even near that type of statistic, with Dani Ceballos being the closest, with 1.8 chances per 90 minutes.
Buendia is a key dribbler and is an excellent through-ball player. At the moment, Emiliano Buendia is the fifth most valuable player in the Championship, valued at $24 million. Buendia would be a great addition to Arsenal.
If Arteta chooses to buy these players in the upcoming transfer window, these players will significantly boost the quality of players and squad depth of the team.
Brandt, Alaba, Sangare and Buendia are all prominent players who would shine at Arsenal.
With these additions, Mikel Arteta’s team has the potential to make the top four, or even win the Premier League.