How Arsenal could line up in five years – will Guendouzi still be there?
Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta However, if Guendouzi carries on his splendid form then some bigger clubs in Europe will come sniffing around and Arsenal may have to prepare for life without the Frenchman.This could see Maitland-Niles drop into central midfield with Willock and pave the way for Gunners academy graduate Reiss Nelson to play in an attacking role.Nelson wasn’t included in the first line-up as his most successful spell as a senior player was with Hoffenheim last season. Nelson may be tempted to follow in Jadon Sancho’s footsteps and try his luck in Germany. Life is looking much better for Arsenal at the moment.Some late business in the summer transfer window and a solid start to the 2019/20 Premier League season means there is a new wave of optimism at the Emirates Stadium. 8 There have been some good performances from some of their younger players this season too including the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, who earned huge praise for his display against Tottenham at the weekend. LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS buildlineup.com Getty Images – Getty Getty Images – Getty 8 deals Getty Images – Getty What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas If Arsenal are to progress, then they’ll need Guendouzi to stay The full-back slots should have current Arsenal players with Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney, who will be 29 and 27 respectively in five years as they are in the club’s long-term plans.Rob Holding is nearing closer to a return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and should be in his peak years being 28 by 2024/25.He could partner William Saliba, 18, who Arsenal forked out over £10million for in the summer. The Frenchman is currently on loan at St Etienne, who Arsenal bought him off.The likes of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be 37 and 36 respectively so surely won’t be at the club in five years. Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ Getty Without an actual time machine at our disposal, it’s very hard to predict how Arsenal will line up but a few of their current players will probably be considered too old, not good enough or out of contract in five years.Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was at fault for Spurs’ first goal at the weekend but this is not the first time he’s made an error leading to a goal in an Arsenal shirt. Option 1: 4-2-3-1 8 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti The most error-prone clubs in the Premier League since 2018/19 AFP or licensors Ozil may not be an Arsenal player during the 2024/25 season 8 BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Is this how Arsenal will line up on the opening weekend of the 2024/25 season? targets Granit Xhaka is not rated by fans or even ex-players including Martin Keown and Paul Merson and he’ll probably be gone by the time his contract runs out in 2023.This could spell an opportunity for the likes of Joe Willock, who has been given a chance to shine this season and he’s even earned comparisons to the great Andres Iniesta during a pre-season win over Bayern Munich in the summer. He’ll be 25-years-old in 2024/25.Another academy player we’ve had glimpses of in the first-team is attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who looked good in some of the Gunners’ Europa League matches last season.Dani Ceballos is doing well so far but he’s at Arsenal on a season-long loan in a deal which has no obligation to buy so it seems the Spaniard still hopes to make it at parent club Real Madrid in the future.In five years time, the Gunners should be free of Mesut Ozil too, who is currently on a reported £350,000-a-week contract – a staggering amount when you consider he doesn’t always get picked for the starting XI and sometimes doesn’t seem particularly fazed by it. Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Getty Images – Getty 8 on target However, the Gunners’ goalkeeping options suggest Leno will be the No.1 for the foreseeable future and there’s always a chance he could turn his form around. Arsenal may have to shift things around if Guendouzi gets sold Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more Saliba is a player with plenty of potential Matteo Guendouzi is a ‘warrior’, says Arsenal legend stalemate 8 Emery’s men have eight points from their opening four Premier League matches 8 Gooners will be desperate to see error-prone Shkodran Mustafi leave, with his contract up in 2021, while Sead Kolasinac has somewhat struggled to get into the first-team regularly since arriving two years ago.If the Spurs game is anything to go by, then Guendouzi is the future of Arsenal’s midfield and the club will be desperate to keep hold of him.He may play alongside Lucas Torreira, but rumours of the Uruguayan being open to a move elsewhere in the summer suggest he may not be around for much longer. rookie error statement latest Maitland-Niles is currently serving as a full-back in Bellerin’s absence but you’d imagine he’ll get moved up to his preferred position as a midfielder or winger.Meanwhile, Arsenal are paying Lille £72million in multiple instalments for forward Nicolas Pepe so he’s surely in their long-term plans.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will be getting older by the 2024/25 season so someone else may have to step up in their potential absence.There are high hopes at the club for Eddie Nketiah, 20, who has made a handful of appearances in Arsenal’s first-team.He’s currently on loan at Championship club Leeds United, where he’s scored three goals in five matches so far.Option 2: Without Guendouzi Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Leno’s status as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper is safe, for now… Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 22, has cemented his place in the first-team over the past couple of seasons.The future looks pretty bright for the Gunners but how might they look in five years’ time?Below you can see how Arsenal might line up during the opening weekend of the 2024/25 season, according to talkSPORT.com. 8 Nelson started Arsenal’s opening two Premier League fixtures this season Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, 21, should get a mention but his Arsenal career has been blighted by long-term injuries, meaning he’s falling behind at a crucial time in his development.Gabriel Martinelli, who signed from Brazilian club Ituano in the summer, may also be part of Arsenal’s plans but it remains to be seen whether he lives up to his promise.Another Arsenal forward who is making headlines is Tyreece John-Jules, 18, as he’s given a good account of himself in friendlies.If Nketiah doesn’t work out, John-Jules could be the man to lead Arsenal’s line in the future or who knows they could form a similar partnership to that of Aubameyang and Lacazette.Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – with Liverpool vs Newcastle next up after the international break.