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Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup for Arsenal and what happened to them after.

Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup for Arsenal and what happened to them after.

In December 2019, when the Gunners played Bournemouth, London made the decision to examine Mikel Arteta’s initial starting lineup from his time as Arsenal manager.

What a ride it has been since Mikel Arteta was named manager of Arsenal—nearly four years ago.

In 2020, Arteta succeeded Unai Emery as manager of the Emirates Stadium.
In his first season, he won a trophy and presided over the club’s record-setting 14th FA Cup victory.
After a six-year absence from Europe’s premier competition, the Spaniard has since gotten the Gunners back into the UEFA Champions League.
Their six-year absence ends later this month.

However, what was the first starting XI under Arteta, and where are those 11 players now?

London examines the team the young coach fielded on Boxing Day 2019 against Bournemouth in more detail.

Bernd Leno is the goalkeeper.

Leno was among the first few players Emery signed after he took over as manager from the legendary Arsene Wenger in 2018.

During his tenure in north London, the German international established himself as Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper, forcing Emiliano Martinez to leave for Aston Villa as a result of his ability to stop shots.
However, Leno’s prowess with the ball didn’t quite fit Arteta’s philosophy, with current No. 1 A little more than two years ago, Aaron Ramsdale took his place.

The following summer, Leno made the decision to move on to Fulham, where he had a tremendously successful debut season under Marco Silva’s guidance.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, David Luiz, Sokratis, and Bukayo Saka are the defenders.

The first few months after Arteta’s arrival, right-back Maitland-Niles had a great start.

The Hale End academy graduate was used as an inverted full-back, where he excelled thanks to his quickness on his feet and composure under pressure.
Prior to loan stints with Southampton, West Brom, and AS Roma, he eventually dropped down the pecking order.

The 26-year-old later left the team on a free transfer for Lyon earlier this summer after it became clear that he had no future with the organization.
Even though Sokratis started Arteta’s first game as Arsenal manager, the Greek center-back only made 10 more appearances for the team before departing in January 2021 for Olympiacos.

He left the Georgios Karaiskakis Football Stadium at the conclusion of the previous campaign, and he is currently without a club.
David Luiz, a former Chelsea player who was instrumental in his team’s success in the aforementioned FA Cup, was the other center back for the Gunners against the Cherries.

However, the seasoned defender rapidly lost Arteta’s favor, and in the summer of 2021, he finally left on a free transfer to Flamengo.
After that, Luiz won the Copa Libertadores Final with the Brazilian team the previous year, becoming just the 12th player to win both the UEFA Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.

The talented youngster’s career trajectory has been quite remarkable since he started at left defender against Bournemouth. Since then, he has made a name for himself as one of the best players in the Premier League, consistently producing for both club and country – winning the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2023 and being named England’s best performer for the second year in a row.

Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, and Lucas Torreira are midfielders.

The Vitality Stadium’s starting midfield trio has all since left the organization.

First off, holding midfielder Lucas Torreira struggled to leave a lasting impression on Arteta, spending the 2020–21 and 202–22 seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina, respectively.
The Uruguayan international later permanently relocated to Galatasaray in Turkey a little more than a year ago.

Another player who found it difficult to meet Arteta’s high expectations was attacking midfielder Ozil.
Although things under the Spaniard got off to a good start, it soon became obvious that Ozil was not a part of the young manager’s long-term plans.

The slick playmaker eventually joined Fenerbahce on a free transfer. The former playmaker for Real Madrid later spent time with Istanbul Basaksehir before retiring earlier this year as a result of persistent injuries.

Granit Xhaka was last but certainly not least.
Under Arteta’s leadership, the frequently criticized central midfielder transformed into something of an Arsenal cult hero.

 

The Swiss captain was one of the first names on the Spaniard’s teamsheet and was instrumental in each of Arteta’s seasons in north London before he decided he was ready for a change of pace and joined the Bayer Leverkusen Xavi Alonso revolution in the summer.

Attackers: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Reiss Nelson.

The only other starter who is still a member of the Arsenal team is winger Reiss Nelson, who replaced Saka.

Prior to spending the 2021–2022 season on loan with Feyenoord in the Netherlands, the gifted young player struggled with a number of injuries while playing for Arteta. Since then, he has developed into something of a “super-sub,” putting in some standout performances while coming off the bench, most notably when he scored the game-winning goal in last season’s 3-2 victory over Bournemouth.

During Arteta’s first few months in charge of the Gunners, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of Europe’s most productive forwards.
However, the Gabonese player’s performance started to wane after his FA Cup triumph in 2020.

Ultimately, due to a disciplinary violation, he lost his captaincy responsibilities in December 2021.
Shortly after, he left for Barcelona.
Aubameyang chose to join Chelsea after only half a season at Camp Nou, but his time with the Blaugrana was also brief but very successful from a goal-scoring perspective.

However, his tenure at Stamford Bridge was largely uneventful, and in July he left for Marseille of Ligue 1. The other forward who participated in the match against Bournemouth was Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette was a key player in Arteta’s early years in charge, but his goal-scoring ability started to deteriorate and he scored just four league goals in his final campaign at the Emirates.

When Lacazette returned to France in the summer of 2022, he signed with his former team Lyon on a free transfer.
Upon his return, he experienced something of a comeback in Ligue 1, scoring 31 goals in all competitions.

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