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Where Do Arsenal Need to Strengthen Ahead of the 2021 Season?

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One out, one in?

At the time of writing, there is still the possibility Arsenal could qualify for the Europa League through their Premier League position this season. They are also into the semi-final of the FA Cup and face a difficult match having drawn Manchester City. Nevertheless, it has been another disappointing season for The Gunners, one in which they sacked manager Unai Emery.

Former Manchester City assistant coach and Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has taken over the reins at the club. The Spaniard has a massive job on his hands in terms of bringing the best out of the players he already has and strengthening the team in preparation for the new season. The question is, where do Arsenal need to strengthen ahead of the 2021 season?

It is fair to say every area of the team needs to be strengthened at the Emirates Stadium this summer but there are a few specific positions that need addressing as a priority. Central defence is a key position in any team and Arsenal really need to bring in a player who will add some much-needed stability to their back line. David Luiz has signed a one-year extension, but the Brazilian is too erratic and capable of a game changing mistake at any time. The match between Arsenal Manchester City this season is a prime example of why Luiz is not the answer.

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Who stays?

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Back to the central defence and the other current options include Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, none of whom have consistently stood out as reliable defenders during their time at the club. Pablo Marí joined the club on loan this season and despite suffering a serious ankle injury the Spaniard has since agreed a permanent deal. Frenchman William Saliba will also be available having signed for Arsenal before going back to Saint-Étienne on loan. However, he is only 19 years old and Arsenal need a man who can organise the defence and not making mistakes.

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The future of Arsenal’s defence

Samuel Umtiti, currently of Barcelona could be a great option. The French international has a wealth of experience and has long been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou. Many Arsenal fans however are convinced another Frenchman, Dayot Upamecano should be the target.

The midfield area is also one of interest and with Mesut Özil and Mateo Guendouzi seemingly out of favour with Arteta, Arsenal need to bring in at least one, if not two players. There are some excellent young players coming through in midfield including Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka but much like the defence, it is missing a consistent, high level performer.

Thomas Partey fits the bill in that respect and the Ghana international has previously been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. Recent reports have suggested Arteta is intensifying his pursuit of the Atletico Madrid central midfielder and Partey would be a huge boost to Arsenal’s midfield for next season. There could even be the potential for a swap deal involving Guendouzi.

Arsenal may also have to make a move for a forward if Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was to leave the club or indeed, they decide to cash in on Alexandre Lacazette However, the priorities must be to strengthen the central defence and midfield ahead of the 2021 campaign.

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