Tunisia might not be the strongest of international football teams but I bet that matters not one bit to Arsenal’s Omar Rekik who has received his first call up for his country. Having arrived at Arsenal from Hertha Berlin back in January, the 19 year old central defender, yes, another one Arsenal have on the books, must be immensely proud. Having been born in the Netherlands, I’m surprised he didn’t opt to represent Holland. Interestingly, Rekik has played just fifteen minutes for the Arsenal under 23’s before injury ruled him out of the remainder of the season but now he’s fit, his country are willing to give him his chance. Perhaps one to keep an eye on in the future.
Other youngsters playing for their respective countries this summer are Daniel Ballard, Northern Ireland and Karl Hein, Estonia. Daniel Ballard will miss Northern Ireland’s first fixture against Malta as he’s likely to start for Blackpool today in the League One Playoff fixture against Lincoln City which kicks off at 3pm.
It’s fair to say, Arsenal are well stocked with central defenders now and in the future. I’m sure David Luiz will be missed in the changing rooms because he’s a big character and a bit of a joker by all accounts but Arsenal have to move on and Mikel Arteta has to find a settled and consistent back five. Going into the new season, barring any sales, his options will be Holding, Gabriel, Mari and Saliba in central defence. Daniel Ballard and Mark McGinness have had successful loans but in League One. If they go out on loan again, it has to be with a Premier League club in my opinion and to a club whose manager will play them. Same goes for Omar Rekik and any other player heading out on loan again this summer. The lower leagues are a good starting point but they need to be playing against some of the best to test themselves.
Bellerin, Chambers, Cedric and Tierney the options at fullback but I think only two of the four will still be at Arsenal when the transfer window closes. Another area Arsenal need to address this summer is the goalkeeper, that is unless Matt Ryan returns and he hopes to if the NN headlines are to be believed. Surely Alex Runasson will be one of a number of players to leave during this transfer window.
I think most Arsenal fans would agree that are midfield needs boosting, as does our attack and in general Arsenal need more goals from more players next season if the club is to get into the top four. Our goal tally under Mikel Arteta has been dreadful.
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See you in the comments.