Arsenal have started the new season in a familiar style, with a loss. After a 3-4 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, the focus has now shifted to the transfer window and how the Gunners can improve.
The three positions that pundits agree Arsenal can improve upon are at centre back, centre forward and on the right wing. It is however, very unlikely that the usually frugal Arsene Wenger will spend big money on all three positions. Should the French manager decide to neglect the right wing area, we study who among the current options within the Arsenal squad is the best fit for the position?
When all members of the Arsenal squad are fully fit, Theo Walcott might find starting spots on the right wing are few and far between, as Wenger has voiced concerns over the Englishman’s defensive contribution when deployed out wide. Tactically, besides pace, Walcott lacks the attributes integral to play in this position, as his dribbling and in game contribution are below the required level. Last season, he played 335 minutes on the right wing for Arsenal, managing two goals.
The Welsh wizard who has expressed his preference to play in the centre of the park has been deployed on the right wing for Arsenal a number of times in the past two seasons. Ramsey is neither an accomplished dribbler nor is he the quickest, making many surprised why exactly Wenger even considers him for that position. In his 835 minutes playing on the right flank for the Gunners last season, he delivered only 2 goals and 0 assists. A winger who cannot create any goals for teammates in the equivalent of more than nine matches for a top club like Arsenal, shouldn’t really be a contender for that position.
The Nigerian International enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last season, putting together some impressive performances and is definitely one for the future. However, he’s too young and too inconsistent to be considered a first team player for a team of Arsenal’s calibre. He spent a total of 87 Premier League minutes on the right wing for Arsenal last season but didn’t manage a goal or an assist in that time.
Like Chamberlain, Campbell is one of the few Arsenal players with the correct attributes for the right wing position. He is a decent dribbler (62.96% in the league last season according to Squawka(, has a good turn of pace, and a better eye for a pass than all the other contenders for this position. Most importantly, of all the options, the Costa Rican professional is the most switched on defensively. Last season, he contributed 3 goals and 5 assists in 1,412 minutes on the right flank.
Considering offensive and defensive output, and the required attributes to succeed in the position, Joel Campbell is the best candidate for the right wing position. Admittedly, he is not an elite player, and the Gunners will do well to find some reinforcement in the transfer market. In fact, it’s probably as important as signing a new centre back or centre forward.