How Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad could look after dream summer transfers

The Gunners are hoping to strengthen across the pitch with Philippe Coutinho and Thomas Partey among the players linked.

The most difficult season for Arsenal in a generation ended on a positive note with the club securing the FA Cup last week.

After such an arduous 12 months for fans, there is nothing wrong with dreaming a little ahead of next season.

We take a look at what Arsenal’s 25-man squad could look like if the club attain their main transfer targets this summer and retain their best players.

Here is what Mikel Arteta’s squad would look like after a dream summer.

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez

There is no change required in this department with Bernd Leno once again proving himself to be a reliable and consistent shot-stopper, while Emiliano Martinez surpassed all reasonable expectations following Leno’s season-ending injury at Brighton.

Both have proven themselves to be more than capable of being the club’s first-choice goalkeeper, while Matt Macey remains at the club.

Defenders: Hector Bellerin, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari

There are currently 12 defenders in the club’s first-team squad, which is excessive, and which is likely to be trimmed this summer.

Securing the permanent signings of Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari gives little wriggle room for further defensive investment, while David Luiz also recently penned a one-year contract extension. The arrival of William Saliba has generated plenty of excitement among the Gunners fan base.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is set to exit the club, and Shkodran Mustafi and Konstantinos Mavropanos could follow.

There’s also a doubt over the future of Calum Chambers, who’s now behind both Bellerin and Cedric at right-back and a host of central defenders.

Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been linked with the club, and he could form part of an exciting new central defensive partnership alongside Saliba.

Midfielders: Thomas Partey, Philippe Coutinho, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ismael Bennacer

The area which ideally would see the most overhaul is the centre of the pitch. Fans still dream of landing Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey, while Arteta wants to sign Dani Ceballos permanently from Real Madrid.

Philippe Coutinho could theoretically replace Mesut Ozil, whose wage packet combined with his lack of game time has made him a major financial drain on resources. Lucas Torreira has been linked with a move to Milan, while the Rossoneri’s Ismael Bennacer – a former Arsenal youth player – could be enticed back as part of that deal.

Permanent exits will also be sought for returning loan duo Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while the club are also looking for potential buyers for Matteo Guendouzi – who fell out of favour entirely under Arteta in the season’s run-in.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been linked with a move away but Arsenal will want to keep hold of the youngster.

Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah.

The key objective in attack is to renew the contract of captain and star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Willian is expected to arrive as a free agent from Chelsea.

With this in mind – as well as the emergence of Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah to complement the threats posed by Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette – there’s no shortage of attacking options.

There could potentially be a loan exit for the talented Reiss Nelson, who has a bright future but may want more regular game time.