Mikel Arteta’s summer transfer plans complicated by surprise Community Shield performances

The Arsenal manager won his second trophy this month following the penalty shootout victory over Liverpool but has been left with a lot to ponder.

Mikel Arteta was left with plenty of food for thought following his Arsenal side’s penalty shootout victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley on Saturday.

After a 1-1 draw in normal time, Rhian Brewster’s miss for Liverpool in the shootout gave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the opportunity to put away the winning spot-kick to seal a 5-4 victory and clinch Arsenal’s second trophy this month following the FA Cup win on August 1.

There were plenty of positives on show for Arteta, with his side beating one of the best teams in Europe in a semi-competitive match despite having only returned to pre-season training earlier this week.

However, if anything the fine performances of many of his squad have presented the Spaniard with further transfer headaches ahead of the new Premier League campaign, which kicks off in just two weeks time.

The Man of the Match, according to BT Sport, was Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who impressed both at the back and going forward and put in a typically combative showing.

The 23-year-old is being strongly linked with a £20m move to Wolves, reportedly against Arteta’s wishes, and it will be intriguing to see if his latest performance will convince his manager to try one more time to convince his board to keep the player.

Likewise, defender Rob Holding is allegedly close to joining Newcastle on loan, yet the 24-year-old put in an accomplished performance at Wembley, keeping the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane quiet for most of the game.

Although Arsenal will have strength in depth at the back next season, with William Saliba joining following his loan at Saint Etienne and Gabriel Magalhaes set to sign imminently, can they really afford to let a player of Holding’s quality and versatility go?

Then there is Emiliano Martinez.

The Gunners’ FA Cup hero has barely put a foot wrong since deputising for Bernd Leno during the German’s spell on the touchline with injury, and the Argentinean shot-stopper was impressive again against Liverpool, making two fine saves against Mane and picking up right where he left off.

Yet he is another player who is being linked with an exit, and considering his form it would seem crazy for Arsenal to let him go, especially given the lack of another serious challenger for Leno’s No.1 jersey.

Finally, Saturday’s match saw a surprise return to the fold for forgotten man Mohamed Elneny.

The Egyptian central midfielder was assumed to have played his last game for Arsenal after spending last season on loan at Besiktas, but after being named in the starting line-up against Liverpool he more than held his own during his first game in English football for over a year.

Was it an indication he may be still in Arteta’s plans? Or was it simply a way to put him in the shop window for potential suitors?

One thing is for sure: the Gunners boss has a lot of thinking to do over the coming days, with some crucial decisions ahead of him.

Over to you, Mr Arteta.