Arsenal's potential starting XI after Mikel Arteta's first two transfer windows


Mikel Arteta is now just a few hours away from his first game as Arsenal manager.

Almost one month since the axe was dropped on Unai Emery, the Gunners decided to appoint their former captain after being impressed with his work as Manchester City's assistant coach.

It's a clear show of intent that Arsenal are looking towards a long-term model and hoping to instigate a slow rebuild that might not be too dissimilar to Jurgen Klopp's work at Liverpool.

And as any Liverpool fan will tell you, delivering a turnaround of the likes takes time and even the greatest managers in the world need a little money to bring their vision into fruition.

Bearing that in mind, the Express decided to dust off their crystal ball and imagine how Arsenal could line-up ahead of the 2020/21 season after Arteta is granted two transfer windows to spend.

Arteta's potential XI

It's a bold prediction to make at this stage, but with four new arrivals tipped to slot immediately into the starting XI, it does make for fascinating reading. Check out our breakdown below:

GK - Bernd Leno

Don't fix something that isn't broken. Leno has arguably been Arsenal's best goalkeeper of the decade and that should tell you everything when he's only played 52 games for the club.

Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais - Emirates Cup

RB - Hector Bellerin

Bellerin was undisputedly the best right-back in the Premier League just a few seasons ago and he could feasibly rediscover that form under Arteta's coaching and with a consistent run of fitness.


CB - William Saliba

Arsenal's defence has been an absolute shambles this season, so why not invest some faith in one of Europe's most exciting young centre-backs? He is already on Arsenal's books, after all.


CB - Pau Torres

The first new signing of the XI. Torres has been linked with Arsenal in recent months and his impressive form for both Villarreal and Spain could bring the solidity that the Gunners need.

RCD Espanyol v Villarreal CF  - La Liga

LB - Kieran Tierney

We're yet to see the best of Tierney in the Premier League after two rounds of injuries in four months, but the former Celtic man has all the attributes to become a hit at the Emirates Stadium.


CDM - Matteo Guendouzi

Spoiler alert: Guendouzi is the only contemporary Arsenal player to keep his position in midfield and the 20-year-old has the potential to become a world-beater under a coach like Arteta.

Arsenal FC v Vitoria Guimaraes: Group F - UEFA Europa League

CM - Thomas Partey

Arsenal love themselves a sweet deal and few come better than an Atletico Madrid midfielder, who attracted interest from Emery last summer, having a release clause of around £42 million.

Club Atletico de Madrid v CA Osasuna  - La Liga

CM - Fabian Ruiz

Ruiz - who has also been linked with Liverpool and Barcelona - could be the creative influence that Arteta needs in his midfield, especially with Dani Ceballos poised for a Real Madrid return.

US Lecce v SSC Napoli - Serie A

RW - Nicolas Pepe

The change of management at Arsenal could be game-changing for Pepe when you consider the brilliant coaching work that Arteta completed for Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane at City.


ST - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Who else? Arsenal would be in a relegation battle without Aubameyang's goals and keeping him at the club for the Arteta era will be as important as making any transfer, no matter how big.

Norwich City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

LW - Ryan Fraser

Fraser seems eternally linked with a move to north London and he could prove the long-term solution for any void left by the increasingly controversial Alexandre Lacazette.

Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth  - Premier League

Full starting XI


GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

One-on-one coaching is undoubtedly the area that Arteta will benefit Arsenal the most.

As a result, I'm inclined to think this XI could function far better in reality than what might be suggested on paper.

Guendouzi and Saliba are two players in particular that could really start to thrive under Arteta's gaze and Partey looks a logical signing for both his release clause and playing style.

Manchester City v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League Group F

However, the jury is still out on whether Torres would be cut out for England's physicality and whether Arsenal's lack of Champions League football will see Ruiz rebuff any approaches.

And as for Fraser... come on Arsenal, you can do better. 

Hopefully Arteta can create a positive enough atmosphere that Arsenal's current front three, which flattered to deceive under Emery, can stick around and finally reach their potential.

Besides, the key to success for Arteta is not necessarily the signings he makes, but how many Arsenal players he can convert into what seem like new signings.

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