By 1970's Gooner
The big one is of course the Spurs game on the 16th of January. The six point game that will go a huge way to deciding who will finish fourth. Win this game at their own ground and Arsenal will be sailing away from the rest to claim a Champions League place, something which, at the beginning of the season, will not have featured even in the most optimistic Arsenal supporters dreams.
The biggest problem facing Arteta however will be the depleted squad left after the departure for the AFCON of two of its five central midfielders, Partey and Elneni. And if the rumours of the impending departure of AMN to Roma are proven true then it leaves us with just two, Xhaka and Lokonga!
This would not have been so bad if the Spurs game was the only one we would have to play before the departees return to the fold. However there is the FA Cup game at Forest and the first leg of the Carabao Cup against Liverpool away.
Surely Arteta should not risk playing Xhaka and Lokonga in both of these two games in case they get injured (or red carded).
The point I am making is that the players that will start against Spurs should be protected as best as we can.
And having this in mind I think that Arteta should consider delaying sanctioning AMN's departure for Italy until these two cup games are played and consider playing Chambers as a defensive midfielder, a position in which he performed very decently when on loan at Fulham. It is also an opportunity to give starts to Nketia and Balogun and to some of the promising youngsters like Patino.