Arsenal’s dream subs after £100m-plus transfer spend, Nwaneri chance, Calafiori signing

Ethan Nwaneri could get a promotion to the Arsenal senior squad next season
-Credit: (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

A transfer window where the aim for Arsenal appears to be about raising the overall quality of the squad rather than the desperate need to bring in world-class talent like Declan Rice. Perhaps mainly through the market itself offering so little so far in terms of stand-out candidates above any other reason.

It is key that Arsenal do indeed raise the floor of the current group, having closed the gap now to Manchester City to just two points. Being able to compete across multiple positions more effectively will be another benefit of this transfer strategy allowing Mikel Arteta even more rotation variety.

What this also provides is a stronger bench, which brings us to the focus of the discussion. With the potential links for both incomings and outgoings on the rise, trying to predict what the Arsenal bench might look like for the opening game of the season.

The goalkeeper is particularly interesting with Aaron Ramsdale the current number two but almost certain to depart in search of more regular minutes. Arsenal have been linked to 23-year-old Joan Garcia who could be an astute understudy to compatriot David Raya.

Jurrien Timber may be back to full fitness but there is no sign of Oleksandr Zinchenko leaving yet with Mikel Arteta still a big fan. It may be the Dutch international has to fight his way into the team at first with the Ukrainian retaining his spot in the short term with the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu as another option.

Jakub Kiwior has been linked with a move away from the club with both AC Milan and Juventus interested. Equally, linked in the other direction and potentially an upgrade to the Polish international is Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori who were he to sign again might need, like Kiwior, to take his spot on the bench at least in the short term.

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Into midfield and any signing to replace Thomas Partey would be expected to partner Declan Rice. Emile Smith Rowe could be a potential leaver but Fabio Vieira might indeed stay and this would open up a slot on the bench for youngster Ethan Nwaneri to begin his full transition to become a senior player in the squad.

Where there is expected to be the least movement in the market, at least right now, is up top. While supporters would love to see a striker and wide player signed the signs remain relatively timid for the time being.

Therefore a front three of Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Gabriel Martinelli would see both Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus sit on the bench. Meanwhile both Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson would therefore have been sold.

‘Dream’ Arsenal bench for 2024/2025: Garcia, Timber, Tomiyasu, Calafiori, Jorginho, Vieira, Nwaneri, Trossard, Jesus