Manchester City are already in perfect form coming into the new season, currently sitting top of the table with 18 points, with six straight wins; Arsenal are 4 points behind, already beginning to drop points where they shouldn’t be. Following the 2-2 draw against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur, a game in which Arsenal had the chance to put the game to bed, there are worries that they need more personnel if they want to take the title to City this season. Mikel Arteta’s tactics have been called into question.
Pep Guardiola’s side takes on Arsenal on the 8th of October at the Emirates, and this game could be crucial in the deciding factor of the title winners this season. It’s one of Mikel Arteta’s best opportunities to beat them in the league since their last win in 2015. Manchester City are without the likes of Kevin De Bruyne due to injury, and Rodri is suspended for 3 games due to a red card offence, meaning he will miss the big clash.
🚨BREAKING: Declan Rice, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Thomas Partey are all expected to be fit to face Manchester City in 13 days.
— now.arsenal (@now_arsenaI) September 25, 2023
There are worries regarding the injuries of Declan Rice, Leandro Trossard, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Martinelli not being available for the game, however, positive news has come out that all of them are on track to be able to feature, which is huge for the Gunners. With a tough set of fixtures coming up for Manchester City (Starting on the 25th of November, they face Liverpool, RB Leipzig, and Tottenham Hotspur) this could be a huge set of points for the side.
Arsenal need to make moves in January
In the summer transfer window, Arsenal strengthened their side with Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya, however, there are some areas that need improving. In January they should target a striker, a left central midfielder, and also more depth to the defence. The signing of Jurrien Timber was there for that depth required at the back, as he is versatile and can play across the back line, unfortunately, due to injury this puts the Dutchman out for a huge amount of time throughout the season.
A player to stamp authority is needed
The left central midfielder role in the squad is yet to have a player stamp authority on the position. Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira have played their fair amount of minutes there each and it seems Arteta is still not sure who suits the role better, as there seems to be a lack of consistency from both players. Emile Smith Rowe has made some cameos and has potential to slot in.
Could Ivan Toney make a move to Arsenal?
Something that needs addressing is Arsenal’s striker position. Both Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus share the position and both have games where they are fantastic, but consistency again is something that seems to be lacking from both players at times. When you want to be considered a title contender, areas that show the slightest need for improvement should be looked at. Rumours have already started regarding Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who is currently suspended until January due to gambling offences.
Ivan Toney to Arsenal is something that could be likely to go ahead, Brentford seems to have a good relationship with the side considering the circumstances of the David Raya deal. He stated in an interview “If I were to move, it would be like the right club. From young, I’ve liked Arsenal. Liked watching Arsenal and how they play, how passionate the fans are.”
With him openly stating he would be happy to join the side, this deal could be concluded in the January transfer window.
🗣️| Ivan Toney: “The next club I go to, if I were to move, it would be like the right club. From young, I’ve liked Arsenal. Liked watching Arsenal and how they play, how passionate the fans are.” [Diary of a CEO, @StevenBartlett] #afc pic.twitter.com/LFfk7wunNo
— Arsenal Buzz (@ArsenalBuzzCom) September 25, 2023
Arsenal Can Compete for the Premier League
Last season, Mikel Arteta’s side showed that they can take it toe to toe with one of the best sides currently in world football. They have strengthened the squad accordingly in areas that they needed improvements. The January transfer window is another opportunity to get that one step closer to Manchester City, but it won’t be an easy task. Starting on the 8th of October, Arsenal need to show not just Pep Guardiola but football that they are a serious side.
If Arsenal were to be within reaching distance of City when the January window opens, there is a real opportunity to take the title to them, there are of course many other factors come into play regarding the outcome at the end of the season, but this is an area that should be a priority.