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Top 3 priorities for Mikel Arteta to move this club forward

Arsenal, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has a lot of work to do both now and in the coming transfer window to move Arsenal forward. These should be his top three priorities.

Mikel Arteta inherited a mess of problems, not just from Unai Emery, but from Arsene Wenger too. Arsenal is a proud club that had fallen on disrepair and after 22 straight years of making it into the Champions League, they have since fallen out of the running and all those deficiencies are coming to light.

That’s what Arteta is here to fix. And for the most part, we’re already seeing all the right changes in motion. This defense, for instance, has improved exponentially despite gaining no one new and not having who I believe is our best centerback—Calum Chambers.

Arteta has given youth a chance, as Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are thriving, and he is building the team around a strong core that just needs a few complementary signings in the coming transfer window.

It’s still a lot to sort through, but he can start by prioritizing one thing at a time. So here are what should be his top three priorities. We start with No. 3.

(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

3. Get a holding midfielder

One thing I really enjoy about talking through these top three priorities is a lot of them are already in motion. Mikel Arteta has already made it clear that they are after a holding midfielder and the persistent links to Thomas Partey confirm it. While Partey is the top of the prospective pile, there are numerous options we can turn to if that doesn’t work out.

The key thing we need is someone who can free up Granit Xhaka. Xhaka is a tremendous midfielder who has just had too much to do. He needs a responsible, all-action mate who can cover the defensive side and patrol large swaths of the pitch while Xhaka plays his cool, calculated game.

We’ve seen glimpses of this before in Emery’s midfield three, but since then, it’s been a carousel of rotating partners that all struggle to augment Granit Xhaka’s midfield the way we need. Get a holding midfielder and so many other pieces fall into place.

On to No. 2.

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