Brighton v Arsenal: Match in pictures
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Arsenal are finally moving in the right direction and their starting XI could look even stronger come the start of next season. The Gunners are currently being linked with a whole host of exciting names as Mikel Arteta looks to continue buying into the club’s newly-devised transfer policy, which is centred around signing attractive, talented young players with enormous potential
The average age of Arsenal’s starting XI has significantly decreased in recent times as the club look to build a new core, centred around players between the age of 20-24.
Arsenal are expected to continue tapping into that strategy as they look to build an exciting team for the future that is also ready to compete now.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has warned Premier League clubs that Arsenal could be the team to watch out for in the coming years, telling The Telegraph: “The team that I think is worth watching closely as the season evolves is Arsenal.
“If they can get the consistency into their young side, the lack of European football can be a massive help for Mikel Arteta as he spends more time with his players on the training ground.
“I think it is too soon for them to qualify for the Champions League, but of the chasing pack they may prove themselves best equipped to challenge.”
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Arsenal’s current form has now started to improve now they have decided on a settled backline.
Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Takehiro Tomiyasu have helped the club keep four consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.
They will be a huge part of this team moving forward and Arteta could permanently switch to a back-three, a formation he has varied success with throughout his Arsenal tenure.
Versatility man Bukayo Saka is more than capable of playing at left wing-back while Arsenal are expected to sign a new right-sided full-back in the near future.
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Tariq Lamptey was under consideration before he suffered a serious hamstring injury, while Max Aarons also has admirers in north London.
Lamptey would slot in on the right if Arsenal were able to get a deal over the line, while in midfield, Emile Smith Rowe could partner Thomas Partey.
In attack, Arsenal’s front-line is expected to look very different come the start of next season.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both expected to depart upon the expiry of their current contracts in 2022 and they will need to be replaced.
Club Brugge’s Noa Lang, who has already drawn comparisons to Neymar, has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
He can play anywhere across the front three including centrally but he would be expected to provide support for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang out wide.
A player of similar interest and versatility is Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
Arsenal have been linked with the England international in the press this week, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin also said to be of interest.
Watkins has been playing out wide for Villa this season following the signing of Danny Ings, a role he has taken on in spells during his time at both Brentford and Exeter respectively.
He is of course predominantly a striker and Aubameyang has also done his fair share of work out wide under both Arteta and Unai Emery.
Aubameyang’s long-term future at the club also remains up in the air despite signing a bumper new contract last year.
There is still a chance the Gunners could sell if they receive the right offer for their captain.
A sale would give them extra leverage to rebrand their attack, particularly given the likes of Watkins and Calvert-Lewin would be unlikely to form a pairing with Aubameyang in a front two.
Potential Arsenal XI next season after three signings: Ramsdale; Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu; Saka, Smith-Rowe, Partey, Lamptey; Lang, Aubameyang, Watkins.
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