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How Arsenal could line-up this season after signing Mustafi & Perez
The transfer window is now closed until January so we know the squad Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has to choose from over the next few months.
Overall, I think we had a decent summer bringing in Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez to contest first team places while Rob Holding looks to be an excellent prospect for the future.
Attention will now turn to how the boss plans to line-up following his latest new recruits, so here are some thoughts on what our team could look like with Mustafi and Perez involved:
Perez on the wing
Perez played out on the wing for much of his career and was only really converted to a central striker in recent years so Arsene has the option to play him out wide with Olivier Giroud through the middle in certain games.
For all his faults, Giroud is still a very useful team player and his height and strengthen is vital at set pieces while his link-up play with his back to goal is also under-appreciated.
So I still see Giroud as being an important first team player and that could see Perez used out on the wing in the attacking three along with Ozil and Sanchez at times this year.
I think the back five should pretty-much pick itself now with Mustafi slotting in alongside Koscielny in the middle of defence and Monreal/Bellerin obviously filling the full-back spots.
I’m intrigued to see how the Mustafi-Kos partnership develops but I think it has the potential to be special.
Centre-midfield is now arguably the most interesting area of the team as we have plenty of options even with Wilshere leaving on loan. Xhaka has to start for me and I think it should be a battle between Cazorla, Ramsey and Elneny for the other spot.
The Ramsey-Xhaka pairing could be the long-term plan but it’s difficult to see how we leave Cazorla out of the team as he’s such a talented player who’s vital to how we play, so I’m going with the Spaniard in my teams.
So here is one way we might see the team lining-up with Perez out wide:
Obviously there will be games where Perez is preferred to Giroud and will play up front as a central striker as that’s where he scored 19 goals for Deportivo La Coruna last season.
The Spaniard is quick and loves to run behind the defence so I think we could see him play up top against teams where we might have a bit more space on the counter attack.
With Perez up front, that would see a place open out wide and Walcott has started the season very well so I’m sure he’ll continue to get plenty of game-time if he keeps working hard and scoring goals.
However, I also think we’ll continue to see Arsene use Ramsey out on the right occasionally this season – just as he did last year. Given the competition in the middle, Rambo could find himself pushed out wide in games where we need a bit of extra protection for Bellerin.
This is another possible line-up:
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how Wenger puts his team out this season as we have a lot of different options and that can only be a good thing. Let’s just hope key men steer clear of injury and Mustafi/Perez settle quickly, as I think this is our best squad for years.
What would be your starting eleven this season?