How Arsenal could line up in the 2021/22 season

It's going to be a summer of mass change at Arsenal with Mikel Arteta hoping to continue his rebuild of the squad.

The Spaniard's side failed to achieve their objectives last term and will be without European football for the first time in 26 seasons when the 2021/22 campaign comes around.

When he took the reins, many understood it would take time but at a club of Arsenal's size, you only get time if you're meeting the minimum requirements and this time around he failed. The club are going to be heavily reliant on player sales when it comes to funding any incomings but given there are many seemingly headed for the exit door, the team could look very different next season if Arsenal play their cards right.

Here is a look at how the north London giants could line up next season.

GK: Andre Onana

Ajax goalkeeper Onana has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium | BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Gunners are said to be interested in a move for Onana this summer, with Ajax willing to let him leave for £7m due to his contract situation - whichever way you look at it, that's a steal.

The 25-year-old is currently serving a ban after furosemide was traced in a urine sample he provided back in January, though that suspension could be reduced after his virtual hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this week.

Stylistically, the Cameroon international seems a good fit for Arsenal - especially if they plan to continue playing out from the back.

The fact Mikel Arteta's side are seemingly in the market for a goalkeeper has cast further doubt over Bernd Leno's situation. The German has been first choice since his arrival in 2018 but hasn't been overly convincing.

RB: Zeki Celik

Arsenal are said to be one of three Premier League clubs interested in Lille's Celik | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

A right back is said to be one of the club's priorities this summer, having braced themselves for the departure of Hector Bellerin. A vacancy will open up with the Spaniard's departure and one player supposedly of interest is Lille defender Celik.

The Turkey international could be available for £13m with the Ligue 1 champions desperately needing to raise funds this summer. As well as being a competent defender, Celik is renowned for his ability to contribute in the attacking third and is your typical modern-day full back.

CB: William Saliba

Saliba spent the second half of last season on loan in France where he impressed | Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Saliba spent the second half of last season on loan in France with Nice for whom he performed admirably.

His Arsenal career got off to a terrible start, being left out of Arteta's registered squad for the Premier League, but given the club invested £27m in him they won't be giving up on the 20-year-old just yet.

He's got bags of talent and certainly benefited from playing regularly in recent months. With David Luiz leaving the club, the right-sided centre back position is up for grabs and if the plan really is to build for the future, Saliba must be given the opportunity to make it his own.

CB: Gabriel

Gabriel has just completed his first season in the Premier League | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Gabriel's form dropped off in the second part of the 2020/21 season but there were enough signs to suggest he has what it takes to become a very good centre half. The Brazilian is just 23 years old and has already established himself as a regular in the Arsenal defence.

Physically, he is perfect for the Premier League and if partnered with the right man there is no reason he can't continue to grow and hold down a spot in the team for many seasons to come.

LB: Kieran Tierney

Tierney struggled with injuries last season | Visionhaus/Getty Images

There isn't an Arsenal fan out there who hasn't fallen in love with Tierney since his arrival from Celtic back in 2019. Defensively he is extremely secure but his ability to get forward to devastating effect makes him the complete full back.

When fit he simply has to play, but there is one concern to be had over the Scotland international with regards to his fitness. The 23-year-old picked up a lot of niggles in his debut season in England and while he is a nailed on starter it's important cover is brought in this summer.

CM: Thomas Partey

Arsenal signed Partey last summer for £45m | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Signed for £45m last summer, Partey's first season with the club was somewhat underwhelming. Fitness troubles meant he struggled to find his rhythm and having put those issues behind him, his partnership with Granit Xhaka was broken up in order for the Swiss to cover at left back.

Arsenal fans and Arteta alike will be expecting much more from the Ghanaian next season, and why not? He's most certainly capable of it and there's no reason he can't boss the midfield in the way he did during his time with Atletico Madrid.

CM: Ruben Neves

Neves could be on the move this summer with Arsenal reportedly interested in his services | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The Portuguese midfielder is being linked with a move away from Wolves and in the event Xhaka is sold, he'd be the perfect partner for Thomas Partey.

Neves has the tactical awareness to drop deep into defensive spaces when without possession, the technical security to progress the ball when receiving it from the centre backs, and the ability to impact games in the final third.

He's the perfect fit, Premier League proven and at just 24 years old, the former Porto man is worth investing in.

AM: Emiliano Buendia

Arsenal are said to have been monitoring Buendia since December | George Wood/Getty Images

Buendia has been on Arsenal's radar for quite some time and Norwich have made their demands clear when it comes to the potential sale of the 24-year-old.

If the Gunners are to bring in an attacking midfielder, whoever it is would be fighting for the role with Emile Smith Rowe, but competition is healthy.

The only question mark over Buendia would be whether or not he can replicate the form he showed in the Championship last season in the top flight, but given the links won't go away we can assume Arsenal have no concerns over that.

RW: Bukayo Saka

Saka was Arsenal's standout player last season | Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal's brightest star in what was overall a disappointing season, Saka continues to go from strength to strength and is currently one of the first names on the team sheet.

Moving onto the right flank has seen him take his game to another level and he is one of the club's most valuable assets nowadays.

His form dipped at the back end of last season but having made Gareth Southgate's England squad for this summer's European Championship he'll be buzzing and it'll be an experience that will undoubtedly improve him further.

LW: Nicolas Pepe

Pepe was in inspired form at the end of the 2020/21 campaign | Pool/Getty Images

Pepe is starting to show signs of the player Arsenal broke the bank for in August 2019. The £72m price tag has been a burden on the 26-year-old but if you can put that to one side, you'll see a very effective winger with the ability to impact football matches and score goals regularly.

He ended the 2020/21 season brilliantly and deserves to be a starter moving into the new campaign as things stand.

ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang had a poor season but there is no reason he can't return to his best | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

For all the talk of Aubameyang having a disastrous season, he still managed to score 15 goals. A number of issues saw him struggle to live up to the high standards he set previously, but with the possibility of Alexandre Lacazette being sold he should be the man to lead the line.

A proven goalscorer who will be desperate to bounce back and prove his doubters wrong, we all know what Aubameyang is capable of when firing on all cylinders and he remains one of the best centre forwards in the division.

Source : 90min