Imagine everybody is fit in the squad: what would be your first team?
My first team would probably be this one:
I would happily replace Ramsey with Elneny but I feel that the Welshman is a bit further in his development and deserves a place in the first 11 now. I would also be happy to play Alexis as our CF as Arsene has done recently. That would mean that Giroud would be on the bench and one of Theo, Iwobi or Ramsey (with Elneny or Santi taking his place) to take Alexis’ place on the wing.
It is fair to say that I don’t know much about Perez and Mustafi but I am assuming that Wenger has bought them to improve the first team rather than place them in the wider squad. Perez’s goals and assists stats are favourable compared to Theo, The Ox etc, so I think he will play in our strongest possible team, and most likely on the wing. I am also assuming that Wenger could only entice Mustafi to Arsenal with the promise that he will normally start rather than be on the bench. However, it could be that he needs time to settle in and both Holding and the BFG are very good alternatives to have.
So for me the above line up is about the strongest we could field IF everybody is fit.
And what would the bench look like?
Well wow, our bench would look awesome if Wenger could pick from the squad with a full health bill.
Ospina would be Cech’s cover. A good goalie with a lot of confidence. For central defensive cover we could put on our bench Holding, the BFG or Gabriel: all fine options if you ask me. For full back cover I would put Gibbs on the bench.
For midfield cover we can pick from Elneny, Jack, Coquelin and Santi. It would be really hard to leave any of these players out… In fact, I feel they should all play when fully fit… but there is no space for them.
For attack we can pick from Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi, Gnabry, Ox and Akpom. Again it would be very hard to leave some of these players out.
We can only pick seven from the above mentioned players for the bench, and if I had to chose it would probably be: Ospina, BFG, Gibbs, Elneny, Jack, Santi, Welbeck.
What the above demonstrates is that we have a very strong squad now and I cannot wait to see them all in action this season. It is a squad with the depth, hunger and quality to win silverware.
What would be your strongest first team and strongest bench if everybody would be fit?