Who Will the New Fabio-gas Replace: Granit, Bukayo, Martin, Martinelli, Pepe or Emile?

Our Vieira from Portugal promises to be a gem of a player. A creative, attacking midfielders with goals and assists; a dribbler, who can play Saka-like on the right, cutting in with his left foot to pass or shoot. He is also described as someone who finds space between the lines, breaks the status quo, and perhaps his biggest asset is that he can do this all with his left foot.

We know that when Arsenal spend this sort of money on him (reportedly about £35m) then this 22 year old will get to play regularly. So for who is he at least competition if not their replacement for?

As always, I am interested in your views. 🙂

You will not find a bigger fan of Xhaka easily, but I think it could be Granit who will get the direct competition. Arteta seemed to be moving towards two central attacking mids with just Thomas covering behind them in the last few months. These need to deliver the bread and butter stuff, goals and assists, and this is not Granit’s forte. Left footed Vieira next to either The Ode or ESR, could be the missing link.

Still, I think that Xhaka is really important for Arteta’s on-field game management and for keeping the structure, and Partey is good but not great at this. Granit, however, cannot play as sole DM; he needs to play with somebody next to him. So there’s a dilemma, especially also because Partey is injury prone and takes a long time to get into the groove. Is Elneny the right back up for a sole DM formation? Would Tielemans have played in this role had we gone for him?

What about the left wing position? ESR and Martinelli look like the strongest candidates, but both don’t seem to really flourish there. Could Vieira have been bought for that position instead?

Furthermore, the Ode needs to add more goals and assists to his game which I expect to happen gradually, but competition is required to get more from the nr10 role asap. Is Vieira that player?

Saka needs cover too which Pepe, a very different type compared to the young Englishman, just cannot offer in Arteta’s system. Was Fabio bought mainly to do that? An injury to Saka last season would have really set us back, so……

Whilst I am writing this I have also been thinking about our very own Emile and how he will fit into Arteta-ball? Is there a position he can claim for himself going forward?!

Anyway, enough from me; what are your thoughts?

By TotalArsenal

41 thoughts on “Who Will the New Fabio-gas Replace: Granit, Bukayo, Martin, Martinelli, Pepe or Emile?

  • 4-3-3
    Tommy, Gabby,White, Tierney
    Granit ,Partey,Viera
    Saka ,( Edie) new striker ,Smith/ Martinelli.

  • The arrival of an important new signing shouldn’t necessarily lead to the departure of a.n.other player, to me it just means we have a stronger squad that-can, more adequately, attack four competitions and importantly allow the manager to rest and rotate his players – very much as is the case at Man City.

    Guardiola’s team retains the highest level possible due to the Coach rotating his starting XI, it prevents soft tissues injuries brought on by overplaying (Tierney/Partey) and keeps in particular your attacking players fresh (Saka/Odegaard//Martinelli) something we’ll need to avoid this campaign if we want to attack the three cups we’re in and maintain our League position improvement (4th or 3rd being the aim).

    De Bruyne is Man City’s top top player but he is often rested as is Mahrez, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Grealish and Sterling. All of them would walk into our team but they often start on the bench at Eastlands, so for me a stronger, bigger squad just means more options and not the end of an Arsenal career…

    There are players who I can see leaving such as Pepe, Bellerin, Mari, Torrieira, Maitland Niles and Leno but I don’t see Xhaka being among them as long as Granit is happy with not playing every single game.

  • When Thierry Henry joined us, he was a winger. Arsene converted him into a striker, Could the same thing happen with Smith Rowe? He has all the physical attributes needed for the premiership, and has an eye for goal.

  • I agree with Kev. We need a deeper squad to rotate effectively. Having versatile players in your squad like Viera, Tomi and Saka means that you have more potential options both to rotate and to change games when players like Viera are coming off the bench.

  • Great, sensible comment, Kev. But in our strongest team, when all are fit, who could lose out? 😅 We would like you off the fence. 😁

    Same goes for OX10 😉

  • Haha TA. as Viera is so versatile, it is difficult not to be on the fence until we see who else is brought in. Ornstein’s comments on Tielemans are interesting. He thinks that other deals are taking priority and we are biding our time on YT. The thinking seems to be that if nobody else comes in for him then we can strike a better deal for him at the end of the window or even next year. If we get YT then I expect to see Viera to the left of Ode.

  • Good points, OX10. Leicester can be difficult, so the waiting game makes sense. YT to me seems to be cover/competition for injury prone Partey. He is that sort of player, with possibly Granit sitting the deepest of the two.

  • 3-4-2-1

    (Tomi and Cedric can play RWB in a less offensive team, Tavares can play LWB, so ESR can compete for the AM/SS positions)


  • I shall remain dangerously perched on my fence until our transfer business is done Total and anyway you need to make tactical and personnel changes based on the opposition you face game by game, a strongest XI is a tad old hat me ol’ mucker and with 5 subs this season it really is a game of 16 vs 16 nowadays. 😄

  • It would be pretty wild if we end up with about 8 great forwards and don’t strengthen CM, by far our weakest position especially considering Parteys frailty.

    Maybe Øde or Vieira can play deeper, but that’s a risky strategy. It will be hard to become like Man city overnight. I wanted to try ESR there last season.. and it did not work out at all when it was tried, as I recall.

    I wonder about our priorities, but hope we have a plan.

  • Fully agreed, Kev.
    We need to be adept in 2 or 3 formation/tactics, and be able to switch mid-game, both by substitutions and in mindset. Arsenal need to be less predictable.
    And Arteta must learn how to rotate, and give up the obsolete idea that you don’t change the team after a game won. The ideal line-ups and tactics must be tailored to the given opponent by careful analysis, and should have little to do with our last games against entirely different teams.

  • Ah Kev, the really great managers make few tactical adjustments and build on a core team, philosophy and strengths. Yes players need resting sometimes but the best players (during training sessions) will play most of the time. Only when a style of footie is totally embedded is it easy to use multiple players regularly. Arsenal are a couple of seasons away from it. Every position will have a Nr1 next season and they will play most of the key games. Let’s see who this will be.

  • Ok Total (I sense a theme here) how about the truly great managers are thus because they’ve already had some success and that’s led to them having the better jobs, wealthier clubs and better players etc and thus games where mostly they hold the advantage in terms of quality playing staff which means they dominate the opposition and impose their style on games leading to less tactical switches being needed but they still rotate when they have to.

    Over to you 😉

  • Great news as Ornstein and Romanov are reporting that Arsenal and Man City have agreed a fee of £45m for Gabriel Jesus (or the fee City have agreed to pay Leeds for Kelvin Phillips). It should be concluded over the next few days and then hopefully Arsenal can focus on agreeing a fee with Ajax for Martinez?

  • Fully agree Kevs comment about 16 vs 16. Especially important with a big squad with lots of quality next season with the winter-WC. That said, I believe our strongest 11 (to control games) will be
    Tomi, Ben, Gab, Lisandro/KT
    Ode, Vieira
    Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

    But oh my to sub in ESR, Saliba, KT/Lis, nketiah, yt, Granit, top class winger…


  • Of course I’m glad Riley is gone. As far as referees, I know they have a very difficult job.

    I am all for VAR. It just needs to be implemented better. The one thing that drives me crazy is the incidents that we all see on TV. But for some reason, VAR doesn’t catch and alert the ref to look at.

    Whatever is happening where the VAR official is, needs to be changed drastically. Also maybe a managers challenge allowed once per half, like they used to do in the NFL. This is a way of asking the ref to look at an incident that was missed.

    With any of this, they need to be more careful adding stoppage time. The incidents should be timed electronically where VAR is taking place.

    I know most people hate the complications of this and wouldn’t like the ideas at all.

  • About time there’s some shake up in the hierarchy of the PGMOL. Fresh ideas needed and hopefully, imaginative improvements in-game to reduce the incidence of inconsistent refereeing.

    I read that Howard Webb is the replacement and fans are all making the same joke: Manchester United have made their first signing of the summer. 😁

  • Oh, and love that suggestion, Jync. Why not? One manager’s challenge per half can only add to the need for fairness.

  • We’ve got on the face of it another 12 months of Riley the cheat to suffer I’m afraid Total but I’m also hopeful that he’ll be given his cards by the turn of the year.

    Good idea St Giovanni of Grande Mela, Arteta would love to share the VAR screen with the referee and state his point of view…

    Howard Webb was a policeman Eris with South Yorkshire police, not a police service we in the UK can be very proud of…

  • If Liverpool manage to sign Jude Bellingham then that’ll be a fantastic addition to their squad…

    That’s why we need to bring in the kind of quality players like Raphinha, because every step forward we make Man City and Liverpool make two, getting ahead of Chelsea and Middlesex is one thing, closing the gap on the Scousers and City is another thing altogether.

  • Kev, I think we are doing it bthe right way. A young team getting better every year to beat the Pools and Citehs in two or three years to the top. The only way IMHO. 🙂

  • Jync, I like your idea that managers can ask for a missed incident to be reviewed. As you say it needs to be limited.

    We should learn from the experience of other sports. For instance, I think that timekeeping should be conducted by dedicated timekeepers as they do in Super (rugby) League. They stop the clock for all stoppages (including injuries, VAR and substitutions) and blow the ‘hooter’ at the end of each half at the precise moment that time is up. There is no “Fergie Time”. The ref has no discretion here, there is also no incentive for players to keep rolling around pretending that they are injured to waste time near the end of matches. There needs to be a way to stop other timewasting, e.g. by goalkeepers though. My solution would be a blue card which, if shown by the ref, would signal to the timekeeper to add on 1 minute to play whenever the ref suspects timewasting.

  • Yes Total I agree, the business we’ve done this summer so far has been excellent and it’s great to see us doing it early, but to break into the top three will need continued financial support from KSE and more work this summer.

  • I think so Total, there are numerous reasons why I imagine we need to strengthen further and one of them must be taking advantage of the Chelsea and Man Utd situations while they’re in flux also we want to keep well ahead of Newcastle before they get their business model organised.

    This summer is also the optimum time to take advantage of the lull in transfer inflation whilst the rest of Europe is trying to recover from two years of stagnation.

    I think there might also be a few bargains to be had in the final couple of weeks leading up to the window closing, you know players on the last year of their contracts etc.

  • I get your point, Kev. It looks like the club are doing just that. I am happy with the signings already. Just an older CF to help the young ones would do me now.

  • About the managers request VAR reviews…. There was a deterrent for coaches who might think to make a frivolous request for a review, or to slow the game down that way… some jeopardy.

    If the play was not decided in the requesting managers favor, he would lose a precious time out. In football, maybe that would be equivalent to losing one sub.

  • T, I don’t know that I like the numbers discussed for Raphihna … seems a lot for a second choice to Saka.. unless he’s being bought to play ahead of Martinelli or The Smith..

    I think we need to do something in central midfield. Someone who could do what Ramsey used to, or what Gundogan has done for city.That would be my priority, along with a competent backup for Tierney.

  • J, I think the club have a strategy of going for two players for one position simultaneously, so they will not be held to ransom. Tielemans or Vieira, Raphina or Jesus, etc. Once the club bought one of them that’s it.

    I expect our attack to be very fluid, with interchanging positions during the match.

    Is Vieira not that ‘Ramsey’ player?

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