sport news How could Arsenal line up next season with Mikel Arteta and Edu keen to improve ...

sport news How could Arsenal line up next season with Mikel Arteta and Edu keen to improve ...
sport news How could Arsenal line up next season with Mikel Arteta and Edu keen to improve ...

Arsenal's players have reported to London Colney for pre-season training but the rebuild of the squad has yet to truly kick into life.

The Gunners are on the verge of announcing left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica while they are also close to sealing a deal for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

But neither 21-year-old is expected to be a regular starter in Mikel Arteta's XI next season, with the boss and technical director still on the lookout for a defender, midfielder and a No 10.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (R) and technical director Edu are planning a club overhaul

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (R) and technical director Edu are planning a club overhaul

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The north London outfit have already let Matteo Guendouzi join Marseille on loan with an option to buy, and more established stars like Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka are expected to follow the young Frenchman out of the exit door.

So with multiple squad players' futures uncertain and the Gunners targeting replacements in their bid to get back into Europe next season, what could their starting XI look like?

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at how the Arsenal team could shape up after what is expected to be an unprecedented summer of transfer business at Emirates Stadium. 

Sportsmail looks at what the Gunners' starting XI could look like at the start of the new season

Sportsmail looks at what the Gunners' starting XI could look like at the start of the new season

Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper - Bernd Leno   

The German was coy on his Arsenal future in May, admitting he is 'open for everything' and refused to rule out a move away.

The German joined Arsenal in 2018 and has been No 1 for the Gunners for the majority of his time in north London.

A decision was taken last summer to keep the 29-year-old and sell the impressive Emi Martinez to Aston Villa in a £20million deal.

The move left some Arsenal fans perplexed and mistakes did creep into the Germany international's game in 2020-21, but he still kept 16 clean sheets across all competitions. 

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Bernd Leno said he was 'open for everything' in May and remained coy on his Arsenal future

Bernd Leno said he was 'open for everything' in May and remained coy on his Arsenal future

Arsenal have been linked with a number of goalkeepers already, including Ajax's Andre Onana as well England duo Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone.

Former Bayer Leverkusen stopper Leno also has just two years left on his deal, and with talks yet to open over a new deal there has been speculation he could yet leave.

But in a summer where the Gunners have so much to address - including a new No 2 goalkeeper after the departure of Mat Ryan - Arteta will be hoping for some stability in this position with Leno continuing as No 1. 

Right-back - Ben White

Arsenal's pursuit of Ben White is an open secret but they have yet to agree a deal with Brighton for the versatile defender.

The Seagulls have already rejected two offers from Arsenal, the latest of which was a bid of £42m plus £4m in add-ons, and are holding out for £50m plus. 

Sportsmail revealed last week that Everton are trying to gazump their Premier League rivals in the race to sign the England international and have held talks over a £50m move.

Murmurs of Chelsea and Manchester United interest have also surfaced but White is understood to have been particularly keen on signing for Arsenal. And should he arrive he will add qualities that Arteta's team is in desperate need of exhibiting.

Arsenal have so far had two bids rejected for Brighton and England defender Ben White

Arsenal have so far had two bids rejected for Brighton and England defender Ben White

Playing as a right-back in this team could raise a few eyebrows given that he has played the majority of his recent football at centre-back and a handful of games as a defensive midfielder.

But Arteta's proclivity to have inverted full-backs in his side and the Gunners' need for an excellent distributor of the ball out from the back following the departure of David Luiz could make him the ideal candidate.

Hector Bellerin's future is believed to be elsewhere with the likes of Inter Milan and Villarreal circling and the Spaniard lost his place towards the end of the season to Calum Chambers, who failed to convince fans that he is the long-term solution. 

And with price tags for Brighton's Tariq Lamptey and Norwich's Max Aarons set to be between £30m and £40m, Arteta could deploy White at right-back as well as expecting him to fill in in other areas should the need arise. 

Centre-back - Rob Holding

Holding - like many of his Gunners team-mates - endured a mixed season in 2020-21, but he certainly received the backing from the club's hierarchy.

The 25-year-old signed a new deal until 2024 in January this year and reports towards the end of the season suggested he, Chambers and Kieran Tierney are seen as part of the club's future leadership group.

In truth Arsenal have yet to see the best of Holding following a serious knee injury in 2018, and the Gunners faithful have at times lost patience with the man they nicknamed 'Holdini' - after AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini - in his first season at the club following a £2m move from Bolton.

But with William Saliba set to head out on his third loan since joining Arsenal in 2019 and Luiz no longer at the club, Holding's run as first-choice centre-back on the right-hand side - however unpopular it may be - looks set to continue.

Rob Holding was rewarded with a new Arsenal contract until 2024 which he signed in January

Rob Holding was rewarded with a new Arsenal contract until 2024 which he signed in January

Centre-back - Gabriel Magalhaes

It was a solid first season in English football for the Brazilian following his £27m move from Lille last summer.

He enjoyed an excellent partnership with compatriot Luiz last season but did drop off for a while after contracting coronavirus at the end of 2020.

However, a respectable end to the season means he will certainly play a big part as the commanding presence in the Gunners backline next season.

The start of his 2021-22 Premier League season is expected to be slightly delayed due to an injury which has also prevented his involvement with Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics, but once he returns he is likely to get the nod over Pablo Mari most weeks.

Gabrie Magalhaes enjoyed a decent first season in England following his move from Lille

Gabrie Magalhaes enjoyed a decent first season in England following his move from Lille

Left-back - Kieran Tierney 

Another member of the Arsenal defence who has been rewarded with a fresh contract, the Scotland defender is seen by many as the natural successor to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the club captain.

His absence due to injury was felt at the end of last season as Arsenal lost crucial games domestically and in Europe to miss out continental football for the first time in 25 years.

The 24-year-old also showed his value to Scotland at Euro 2020 with an excellent display against England, and his ability to balance quality attacking play and get back to put in firm challenges has endeared him to the Gunners faithful too.

Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares has joined to provide back-up to Tierney given the Scot's poor injury record since moving from Celtic in a £25m deal in 2019. 

But

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