How Arsenal's £653m starting XI of reinvigorated title challengers could look by end of transfer window
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It has not been a happy festive period for Arsenal. Back-to-back defeats in the Premier League saw Mikel Arteta's men drop from the top of the table to fourth position, while the Gunners' misery was compounded further by an FA Cup exit at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
As such, it would be no surprise to see a number of fresh faces arrive in north London between now and the end of the January transfer window. A new striker is understood to be a priority for Arsenal, but equally, reinforcements at full-back and in the centre of midfield could be drafted in to bolster Arteta's squad ahead of the second half of the season.
With that in mind, we've taken a look at how Arsenal could line up for their top flight clash with Liverpool on February 4th, provided their transfer plans come to fruition. Check out our £653 million starting XI* below...
*All valuations courtesy of Transfermarkt.
David Raya - GK
Despite Mikel Arteta's initial claims of regular rotation between summer signing Raya and last season's first choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, the reality has been that the Brentford loanee is very much the Gunners' number one when it matters most. Expect him to continue between the sticks during the second half of the campaign, and for his temporary stint to be made permanent in the summer.
Ben White - RB
Recent reports have suggested that Arsenal will look to trigger the £34 million release clause of right-back Jeremie Frimpong in the near future, but chances are that deal will not happen until the summer transfer window, and for that reason, White should continue in defence, at least until Jurrien Timber returns from injury.
William Saliba - CB
Arguably the best young centre-back in the Premier League, Saliba has been an absolute revelation for the Gunners, and is unlikely to lose his spot in Mikel Arteta's starting XI any time soon. A massive, massive talent.
Gabriel Magalhaes - CB
Perhaps not quite as appreciated as Saliba, but still an integral player in this Arsenal side, Gabriel has established himself as the Frenchman's de facto partner at the heart of defence, and the pair continue to impress for the Gunners.
Miguel Gutierrez - LB
Arsenal are understood to be seriously considering a move to bolster their options at left-back this month, and Girona star Gutierrez has emerged as one early prospective target. The Mexican has been having a fine campaign for La Liga's surprise package, but with his ownership rights split between Real Madrid and the City Football Group - Girona’s main shareholder - this could be a complicated deal to complete.
Declan Rice - CM
Rice has looked every inch the £100 million player since signing from West Ham over the summer, and he continues to shine in the centre of midfield for the Gunners. A wonderful addition to the Emirates dressing room, and the kind of acquisition that Mikel Arteta would surely love to replicate.
Amadou Onana - CM
Midfield reinforcements could be on the cards for Arsenal this month, and one name that has been mentioned is that of Everton star Amadou Onana. With the Toffees still facing financial difficulties, they could be forced to sell some of the brightest talents in the coming weeks, and there are few players at Goodison Park as impressive as the rangy Belgian.
Martin Odegaard - CM
Arsenal's Captain Fantastic, the Norwegian continues to go from strength to strength in North London. Everything positive seems to flow through him, and it is now difficult to imagine Arsenal's midfield without him and his influence. Well on his way to becoming a modern club legend.
Bukayo Saka - RW
Still Arsenal's main attacking threat, despite a slight dip in form in recent weeks. Saka has the capability to single-handedly win matches for the Gunners, and the potential to become a truly world class talent for club and country.
Ivan Toney - ST
The big one. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Arsenal need a striker this January, and Ivan Toney feels like as likely an acquisition as anybody else. With his ban for gambling-related offences coming to an end in the coming weeks, the expectation is that the 27-year-old will leave Brentford sooner rather than later, and while he won't be cheap, if he can fire the Gunners to a Premier League title, he will be worth his weight in gold.
Gabriel Martinelli - LW
In terms of raw numbers, it hasn't been the best campaign for Martinelli so far, but there is no denying that he is a quality player, and, much like Saka, when he is on song he is capable of tearing an opposition defence limb from limb. A shoe-in on the left side of attack.