Arsenal’s best starting XI after transfer deadline day as Mikel Arteta makes a major Emile Smith Rowe call.
In the last months of the season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have to make a lot of difficult selection selections.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Pablo Mari joined Serie A clubs on loan until the end of the season, while Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left on permanent moves.
On deadline day, technical director Edu signed American defender Auston Trusty, but the 23-year-old will spend the rest of the season with his former club Colorado Rapids before joining Mikel Arteta’s squad in the summer.
Arsenal’s best starting XI that Arteta can name for the remainder of the season
Aaron Ramsdale has been a revelation since coming from Sheffield United in August, keeping 10 clean sheets in his 18 Premier League games so far this season.
Both Benjamin White and Takehiro Tomiyasu have swiftly integrated into the team, combining the ability to move the ball through the lines with a talent for defending, both through duels and game reading.
Left-back Kieran Tierney has performed admirably at left-back, albeit not as creatively as in past seasons when playing at left-center-back.
With the exception of last month’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City, Gabriel Magalhaes has been one of Arsenal’s top players this season, performing admirably in practically every game.
There are few doubts about who the Gunners’ finest midfield pivot is, with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka having lost just two games this season in which they both started.
The duo provides defensive solidity in the center of the field, as well as a tempo to Arteta’s team, which often seems lost when one of the starters is out.
Martin Odegaard, the captain of Norway, is a shoo-in for the no.10 position, having scored four goals and providing four assists for the north Londoners so far this season – amazing numbers when you consider the 22-year-game old’s is much more than just end product.
Odegaard has good ball retention and a keen eye for a pass, frequently leading his team up the pitch before finding a teammate in the final third.
Bukayo Saka, a Hale End academy graduate who plays on the right wing, is one of the first names on Arteta’s teamsheet.
During the 2021/22 season, the reigning Arsenal player of the year has scored seven goals and provided four assists for his teammates.
Emile Smith Rowe has been replaced in the starting XI by Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, which seems unfair given the latter’s superb goal-scoring exploits this season.
Martinelli’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, as he was named Premier League Player of the Month for his outstanding achievements in December.
As much as Arsenal fans would like to see Smith Rowe crammed into the starting lineup, Alexandre Lacazette’s presence up top offered the most balance.
The Frenchman doesn’t score many goals this season, with only two non-penalty league goals, but he makes up for it with his overall play.
Lacazette’s hold-up play is crucial to Arteta’s system, offering a foundation for players like Saka, Martinelli, and Odegaard to thrive, as evidenced when the former Lyon striker is away.
Arsenal’s best starting XI: Ramsdale; Tierney, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu; Xhaka, Partey; Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Lacazette