With such a young squad at Arsenal, theorising how the side could look in 2025 provides some insight into the longevity of the club’s current options.
The difficulty is predicting what transfer moves could take place and the proposed eleven takes a very cautious approach to this with just one external addition.
Whilst Arsenal are having some major struggles at present, the future remains bright as demonstrated by the selection.
GK – Aaron Ramsdale (27)
Having signed from Sheffield United this summer, Aaron Ramsdale appears a player with a long-term future with the club. The Gunners were after a back-up to Bernd Leno, but the initial £24 million fee agreed with The Blades suggests that Arsenal see Ramsdale taking over the position in the future.
By 2025 Ramsdale would be 27 and have likely signed a new contract extension with his current deal having just a single year left. The England international’s comparably better distribution to Leno was one of the key characteristics which convinced Arteta to pursue the keeper.
This could dictate that Arsenal continue a style into the mid-2020s insistent on playing out from the back.
RB – Brooke Norton-Cuffy (21)
With the amount of talent coming through the youth ranks it would have been negligent to not theorise who could make the jump in a few years.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy has an opportunity with the right-back position at Arsenal very much uncertain. Reported genuine interest in the experience Kieran Trippier could see in 4 years’ time the emergence of a young option should the Atletico Madrid man be signed for the short-term.
Norton-Cuffy made the step up to the under-23s last season for a number of cameos but in 2021 has been officially promoted after signing a pro contract last year. His pace on the right in combination with his offensive and defensive potential could see him develop into a fantastic all-round full-back.
If Arsenal does go down the experience route this window, the teenager may have a future opportunity waiting for him and be established by his early 20s. Although it is, at present, very speculative.
RCB – Ben White (27)
Another 2021 summer signing, Ben White joined to become the club’s most expensive defender ever. £50 million spent will certainly have been done with a thought to the long-term. Some speculate that Gareth Southgate sees White as the successor to Kyle Walker in the right centre-back position of his back 3.
Yet for Arsenal White would have honed his abilities in a back 4, the seemingly persistent formation the club wishes to associate itself with.
White, as with Ramsdale, was signed for his abilities when in possession. The pair will be in continual communication both with and without the ball. White will be expected to be a leader in the Gunners’ defence as they aim to return to the footballing elite.
LCB – Gabriel Magalhaes (27)
Signed in 2020, Gabriel was a standout player during the difficult opening months of the season. His form dipped in the new year but with a multi-million-pound partner and 4 years of playing time together, the potential to become one of the league’s best duos is real.
Questions in the present day will be focused upon the pair’s ability to gel. Yet should Gabriel, who looks a great contrasting partner for White regarding physicality, bond well with the England international, they may mature together and earn great success.
LB – Kieran Tierney (28) – Captain
Kieran Tierney’s presence in Arsenal’s team 4 years down the line will hopefully be a sign of the club’s progression. For a player whose ambition pushed him to leave his beloved boyhood club of Celtic, it is not beyond imagination that should Arsenal fail to progress he could leave for a club with greater prospects of silverware.
However, having signed a new long-term deal this summer, Tierney’s immediate future appears safe. With club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s position in the team ever more uncertain, should the captain’s armband become in need of a new custodian, Tierney makes for an obvious choice.
Tierney will be in his prime and with fellow Scot Andy Robertson 31 in 4 years’ time, Tierney could arguably be the best left-back in the league. The hope will be the consistency on the left of the backline with Gabriel will allow greater synergy and better understanding. A defence with great potential is complete, but with many unanswered questions to come.
CM – Thomas Partey (32)
Every successful side has seen key figures maintain their role in the starting XI into their 30s. Liverpool with Jordan Henderson, Chelsea with N’Golo Kante, and Manchester City with Fernandinho. All three sides have won the Champions League and/or the Premier League with these players integral.
Arsenal, despite their budding youth potential, must ensure the squad has a quality experienced presence within. Thomas Partey could be that player and with 4 more years in the Premier League, a well-suited one at that. It is unsurprising too that the aforementioned trio of examples are all central midfielders.
Partey’s athleticism looks unwavering and only the threat of injury seems the obvious obstacle to this ascent. The Ghanaian has seen parallels to former captain Patrick Vieira run as deep as the official away kit reveal of the present day. Where Vieira left in his late 20s, Partey’s journey begins close to them but he could go on to emulate the Frenchman’s midfield dominance.
CM – Sambi Lokonga (25)
The Belgian midfielder Sambi Lokonga is merely 2 senior games into his Arsenal career yet has stolen the admiration of the Gunners faithful with his energy and progressive passing.
As Partey ages, Lokonga could be the perfect partner that the club has been searching for ever since his arrival from Atletico Madrid. With Granit Xhaka having signed a new deal with the team, Lokonga has a great challenge usurping the Swiss’ position and claiming it for himself. Should he succeed, a place in the team as far ahead as 2025 seems nailed on.
CAM – Martin Odegaard (26)
Arsenal’s need to add creativity in the summer of 2021 found them return to former loanee Martin Odegaard. A player whose career exploded at just 16 years of age after joining Real Madrid, it seems staggering that in 2024 it will be nearly 10 years since that moment with the Norwegian’s career still some years from its prime.
Odegaard spoke of stability as he joined Arsenal on a permanent deal, and it is therefore unsurprising to see his inclusion on this list. Having scored twice and assisted just once in the 6-month loan deal, the aim for Odegaard is to increase his goal contribution over the course of his time with Arsenal. Should he remain in the team this far into the future, the likelihood will be that he was successful.
RW – Bukayo Saka (23)
The jewel in Arsenal’s squad. Bukayo Saka will staggeringly be just 23 in 2024 and having signed a new deal in 2020 will hopefully have extended further to avoid this being the year he leaves.
Saka’s mission throughout the coming seasons is to discover what type of player he wants to become. Known for his creativity, to play as a winger he must add goals to his game. The Gunners need more goals from across their side and Saka could be primed to be the provider of them.
With no room for right-winger Nicolas Pepe in the list, who would be 30 by this time, the right-hand side seems the long-term place for Saka to establish himself.
LW – Emile Smith Rowe (25)
With Odegaard’s inclusion, some may have worried Smith-Rowe would have not made this list. Yet he does in a wider role. Though he has the versatility and ability to play as the out-and-out number 10, his partnership with the Norwegian allowed him to feature as a wide playmaker.
Much like his compatriots Mason Mount and Jack Grealish, Smith-Rowe has the makings of an excellent creator and scorer from the wider part of the field. With how Tierney loves to attack down the flank, having a right-footer on the left to play reverse passes and form triangles with the Scot appears in theory a perfect match. It may be the number on the back of his shirt, but it is by no means the nailed-on position for his future.
ST – Dominic Calvert-Lewin (28)
The current Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was linked with a move to Arsenal as recently as the present summer. The Gunners have a clear interest in the forward and with an emphasis on increasing the British contingent, he fits the brief.
Folarin Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli were the potential in-house alternatives but neither make the list. Balogun is simply too early in his senior development to bank on for such a crucial role and Martinelli’s move to Arsenal from Brazil felt like a stepping stone move at the time. He could very well have left for more regular opportunities with so much congestion in the Arsenal front line. At a handsome profit for Arsenal one would hope.
Calvert-Lewin however has all the makings of a great potential forward for the Gunners. A physical player who can hold up play, is good in the air, and lethal in front of goal. His signature would be dependant on Arsenal progressing into a side that could offer him regular elite European football. Thinking optimistically, the England international could be the long-term option for Arsenal in the number 9 role.
What do you think Arsenal’s XI will look like in 2025? Follow our new Arsenal Fan Brands Writer Tom Canton to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source by Football London