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Football Reporting

Arsenal

Arsenal’s core of six players for Mikel Arteta to build around next season


With hopes of European qualification resting solely on winning the Europa League, Arsenal must start planning how to improve their performances in the Premier League next season.

Manager Mikel Arteta has found success with the younger members of his squad and this core group will be key for the Gunners next season.

With the Spaniard already under pressure from some quarters for Arsenal’s performances this season, Arteta will need players he can trust to perform.

Bringing together a core group will also be important in establishing the style of play that their manager wants to impose on his side.

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Here are six players who Arteta should build his squad around next season…

Bernd Leno

Bernd Leno has been a solid presence in goal for Arsenal
Bernd Leno has been a solid presence in goal for Arsenal

The German has been a reliable presence between the sticks for Arsenal since joining the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018.

Leno has a higher save percentage than Allison and David de Gea as he has kept eight clean sheets this campaign.

The 29-year-old has also looked comfortable on the ball, which is a key part of Arteta’s philosophy, while a recent ‘micc’d up’ video released by Arsenal showcased his importance to the side’s organisation.

Gabriel

Gabriel has suffered a mixed season at the Gunners
Gabriel has suffered a mixed season at the Gunners

While he has suffered a mixed debut season at Arsenal, including a disastrous performance against Liverpool, Gabriel has had some impressive moments.

The Brazilian won three successive player of the month awards and has looked comfortable on the ball, with only Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding having completed more passes.

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He also scored what proved to be a critical goal against Olympiakos and was hailed for his goal line clearance against Tottenham which helped the Gunners secure a 2-1 win.

Kieran Tierney

Kieran Tierney has been hailed as a future Arsenal captain
Kieran Tierney has been hailed as a future Arsenal captain

Though his injury problems are a concern, when fit Tierney is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League.

His importance is clear, with the left-back having created more chances from open play than any other Arsenal player.

The Scot has also been solid defensively and has been heralded as a future Arsenal captain after his committed performances this season.

Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey has impressed despite suffering an injury-hit season
Thomas Partey has impressed despite suffering an injury-hit season

Injuries may have limited Partey’s game time since his arrival from Atletico Madrid, but the midfielder has impressed under Arteta.

Though the Gunners have suffered a number of disappointing results since Partey returned to be a regular fixture in the line-up, he has been one of their better players.

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In fact, Partey is arguably Arteta’s first-choice defensive midfielder, with his ability on the ball impressing many.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka has become one of Arsenal's most important players
Bukayo Saka has become one of Arsenal’s most important players

Though just 19-years-old, Saka is already one of the most important players in Arteta’s squad, showing his versatility this season.

Saka was rewarded for his impressive performances at left-back with an England call-up, but it is on the right wing where the youngster has really shown his quality.

After making the switch to the right, he has scored five goals and notched six assists while also playing more minutes than any Arsenal player not named Granit Xhaka.

Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal are a far better side with Emile Smith Rowe in the team
Arsenal are a far better side with Emile Smith Rowe in the team

Much like fellow academy product Saka, Smith Rowe has already established himself as one of Arteta’s most important players, despite only being 20.

The Gunners have looked a far better side with Smith Rowe in the team, with his ability to play across the three behind the striker making him an integral player.

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Smith Rowe has notched two goals and five assists from his preferred central attacking midfield position and was rewarded with his first call-up to England Under 21s.





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