Arsenal need another forward- but what type of forward?

There has been much talk this season about Arsenal finessing the formula this season to prioritise greater control over games and whether there has been a trade off in terms of their attacking threat, where their numbers are down significantly this season.

In short, after a series of helter skelter games in the second half of last season, Arsenal really needed to tune up off the ball. They have done that, in part through the acquisition of Declan Rice, we are also seeing Takehiro Tomiyasu preferred to Oleksandr Zinchenko in certain types of game, while Arsenal are starting games more slowly and building attacks more deliberately.

All of this makes them more serene but perhaps less dangerous. Last week, I wrote about disruption in Arsenal’s spine and how it has probably contributed to a loss of devil in the attacking detail too. Arteta is considering games marathons as opposed to sprints this season and the season must be considered that way too to prevent the burnout we saw at the business end of the last campaign.

Part of the disruption in the spine of the Arsenal team has revolved around the number 9 position with Gabriel Jesus already nursing his second injury of the season. This has led to a reliance on Eddie Nketiah upfront with Eddie starting nine of the Gunners’ 11 Premier League games so far.

Nketiah is one of Arsenal’s most inconsistent players, veering wildly between efficiency and ineffectiveness from game to game, much of which is probably informed by the fact that the player is 24 years old now and this is by far the best stretch of regular football he has ever had. It has led to a discussion as to whether Arsenal ought to source a more reliable number 9 in the market.

In isolation, Nketiah is a fine ‘back-up’ striker, probably markedly better than what most clubs in the Premier League serve up in the same role. Of course, the conversation moves on when the back-up becomes more than a back-up. In 2011-12, for instance, we didn’t need to…

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Author : Tim Stillman

Publish date : 2023-11-09 13:00:40

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