As the transfer market upheaval gives rise to ‘best XI’ visuals on social media, it’s easy to lose track of the talented group of players that Mikel Arteta may choose from. There is a need to figure out where new players like Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, and Jurrien Timber fit in after their acquisition.
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Despite this, even high-quality signings are being forgotten about after only six months. I am just as guilty as everyone else of doing this; for example, I totally overlooked Leandro Trossard’s great performance in the middle of the pitch last year. After the Gunners made three early additions to the roster, a conversation with Umar Choudhry on The Arsenal Way went to the team’s depth at various positions.
Since we were discussing the striker position, I brought up the possibility that we still might be short-handed if Gabriel Jesus were to suffer an injury. Eddie Nketiah stepped in for Jesus and scored in three of the five games he started. Granit Xhaka’s departure to Bayer Leverkusen creates a vacancy in the midfield, a position that was expected to be filled by German international Kai Havertz.
It didn’t hit me how valuable the £27 million January signing was until he started playing centre forward. The signings we made had made me so myopic that I had forgotten about the Belgian’s ability in the middle. In six straight games starting in the middle, Trossard dished up seven assists. As for Jesus, he returned for Arsenal’s match against Leeds United and recorded an assist before being benched.