“I expect” – Charles Watts drops Arsenal lineup claim ahead of weekend

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All three of Arsenal’s winter signings are expected to be on the bench for their trip to Everton, journalist Charles Watts has claimed.

What’s the word?

The Gunners face a potential banana-skin as they travel to Goodison Park to face an Everton side under their newly appointed manager Sean Dyche for the first time.

The league leaders lost the same fixture last season, but know that they can further extend their gap at the top with a victory.

Jorginho, Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior all arrived to strengthen the squad in the January window, but Watts believes that none will start against the team in 19th place.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts claimed that Arteta is likely to stick with his preferred XI, which hardly ever changes, and that whilst all three arrivals could feature, none will be in the starting XI.

He said: “I think we know the team. Jorginho’s obviously arrived since the last Premier League game, and I imagine he’ll certainly be involved at the weekend, he’ll be in the squad.

“He might well make his debut, but I imagine if he does, it will be from the bench.

“I’d be very very surprised if Jorginho goes straight into the starting XI. I imagine he will be on the bench, same as Kiwior and probably Trossard as well.

“So all three new January signings, I expect will probably start the game on the bench because if everyone’s fit and no one’s got any injuries we know about – and most importantly, Thomas Partey is okay to play in this one having gone off against Manchester City in the FA Cup – then I think we know what the team’s going to be.”

Necessary depth

Even if all three signings don’t start in the Premier League for the time being, all three could prove to be necessary and useful additions.

With Arsenal in the title race, every game is now crucial, and rotation may be key, particularly when the Europa League returns.

Kiwior and Jorginho can provide cover for Gabriel and Partey respectively, who are arguably two of Arsenal’s most important players, whilst Trossard can provide extra firepower from the bench, and extra competition for the entire front three.

Arsenal have been excellent as they fired their way to top spot, but there were question marks about their depth within the squad, particularly after their 0-0 draw with Newcastle where they were unable to make any attacking changes.

Trossard in particular, can provide a strong option off the bench when Arsenal are chasing a goal, as shown when he played an important part in their comeback victory against Manchester United on his debut for the club as a substitute.


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