Fabio Vieira leads Arsenal’s strengthening strategy aiming for Raphinha and Lisandro Martinez – Tom Canton


There are many misconceptions surrounding Arsenal as a football club but a growing one that has begun to frustrate me is the idea that the Gunners need to replace players to strengthen. The Gunners look to be embarking on one of the most exciting transfer windows in their history and Fabio Vieira’s announcement has again shown the direction it is heading.

Arsenal have already agreed on deals for three players with Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira and Matt Turner joining the club. Whilst Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha, Lisandro Martinez and maybe more have been heavily touted with potential moves.

Yet, for some, it seems that panic has set in because the likes of Raphinha play in the same position as some current favourites. Bukayo Saka’s future has been somewhat up in the air with a new contract said to be a priority this summer football.london understands.

READ MORE: How Raphinha’s Arsenal arrival will impact Bukayo Saka as Mikel Arteta plans roles for wingers

However, this is the barrier that perhaps we as Arsenal supporters and commentators need to overcome. The idea of strengthening the squad is not about replacing the players with better ones, it is about furthering the group with quality.

Players like Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah have all come in for some criticism and questions about whether the club should look to upgrade them. The signing of Vieira for instance is not to replace Odegaard, it is for him to compete.

The term ‘backup’ needs to become a thing of the past. Arsenal need competitors for every role. That is why Mikel Arteta bought Ben White and loaned out William Saliba only to now want him to return.

He has two solid options for the right centre-back role. The links to Martinez at Ajax would see the Gunners bring in a competitor for Gabriel Magalhaes that Pablo Mari simply could not compete with.

Whilst at the same time Martinez could give competition and cover to Tierney at left-back and Partey in defensive midfield. Arteta loves these players who can play across multiple positions to a high standard.

For all his failings, Xhaka has proven time and time again how important he is. There is a stigma attached to him, but a central midfield addition this summer to battle it out with the Swiss international would only be for the betterment of the club.

There are two key factors which mean this strengthening of the group rather than replacing individuals is the correct method becomes obvious when considered. The first is the return to European competition.

The Europa League means that Arsenal will play on the continent in addition to the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup. In those competitions, it is also now viable for as many as five substitutions to be made.

This was a concept that many of the lesser top division sides were against because of the advantage it gave the best teams with the deepest squads. Arsenal need to position themselves to exploit this new advantage they have.

The club has made several mistakes that we know of, but now the steps are being taken to address these. The squad is getting better each season and the summer of 2022 could see it strengthen to a place that releases what has become something of a coiled spring in north London.


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Source by Football London

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