How Arsenal might line-up next year with new signing Xhaka included

By on May 25, 2016

Granit Xhaka was finally unveiled as an Arsenal player earlier today after completing a big-money move from Borussia Monchengladbach and thoughts now turn to how the Swiss international will fit in to Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven.

I’ll say form the outset that these formations are based on the players we have in the squad now but hopefully we’ll have at least a new centre-back/right-winger/striker to choose from come the start of next season.

I’ve also discounted Danny Welbeck as he’ll be out for the majority of next season with a serious knee injury but I’m assuming all other players are fit and available for selection.

Xhaka is a central midfielder and given we’ve just splashed out a reported £25m-£30m on him, I think it’s safe to assume Wenger plans on starting him, so the question is who will play alongside him.

Santi Cazorla has been a key player for us [when fit] so ordinarily he’d be an automatic pick and if the Spaniard is selected alongside Xhaka, then that could see Aaron Ramsey pushed out to the wing as has been the case at times over the past couple of years.

The team would look like this:

However, as Xhaka is a deep lying midfielder who likes to take possession form the back four and instigate attackers from deep, I think it’s unlikely he’ll play with Cazorla as that has been the Spaniard’s job in recent times.  So we could see Santi become more of a squad player next season.

Our midfield options are now as strong as ever with Wilshere, Ramsey, Coquelin, Cazorla, Elneny and Xhaka all vying for starting spots so perhaps Arsene will be tempted to change formation to fit in three central midfielders next season.

That could see Xhaka deployed in the deepest role with two from Elneny/Wilshere/Cazorla/Elneny in front of him:

The problem with this formation, and it’s a big one, is that it would see Mesut Ozil moved out to the wing and not in his preferred central role. So for this very reason, I hope Arsene resists the temptation to utilise this formation.

So based on a midfield two, perhaps next season we’ll finally see Jack Wilshere fulfill his potential and form a partnership with Xhaka? I’d certainly love to see Jack establish himself and really start to build the career we all know he’s capable of.

The problem I see with the Wilshere/Xhaka combo is that it’s not as diverse as perhaps Arsene would want so that could see Elneny come in to the team – and he’s been excellent since his arrival in January.

The big problem in any of these formations is who the second winger is as Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain have failed to make the role their own. I’ve gone with Ramsey again in the formation above but the reality is we need to bring in a top class attacker to fill that role.

Iwobi did very well during the closing stages of the season but I’d be surprised if he was a first team starter next season. Perhaps Walcott will be given another chance at Arsenal but based on the form he’s showed in recent months, he’d be lucky to make the bench.

It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how Arsenal line-up when the new season kicks off in August but I just hope we’ve signed a new centre-back, right-winger and a top class striker to compliment Xhaka by that point.

What formation would you go with next year?


  1. Peter Woodward

    May 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm


  2. GoonerEris

    May 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    The last two line ups have dumped Cazorla and Coquelin. It also assumes we would be happy to retain Giroud as main striker. Respect the man but we do need to have one with all Giroud has, with more ball skills and balance.

    • E9 Gunner

      May 25, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      I’m sure the line ups are in regards to players we currently own

  3. Peter Benovsky

    May 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Coquelin and Cazorla are major players fo Arsenal, add them in the midline Xhaka. Wilshere should stand in the center with Ozil, can be replaced with Ramsey, if Ramsey can be more concentrated. Elneny a good reserve should not be so timid to be a breakthrough. Wings must be Sanchez and Welbeck, and the top must have a player like SUAREZ. You have to buy another goalkeeper because Ospina is weak and Cech admitted mistakes. I would recommend TIM KRUL from Newcastle. We need a left back like Mascherano. Must be sign a central stopper as Mats HUMMELS !!!

  4. E9 Gunner

    May 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    After a few tries to get the line-up correct, you was almost there.

    Elneny Xhaka
    Sanchez Ozil Cazorla

    Wilshere could be an option to replace Elneny. But I don’t know if two left footed players in CM is an option, we always have two righted players so maybe it could work.

  5. Motivated gooner

    May 25, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    What about Campbell? Very good player needing more air-time. Could there be space for him? Think that overall two more additions and we’ll defo fight for title with MC,MU,LC

  6. Peter Benovsky

    May 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Xhaka super, . Must sell Ramsey,Oxlade, Walcott, Campbell and Iwobi.These are players an average level and would be suitable for Southampton or West Ham. We need Kante and Mahrez. On the top we need player like SUAREZ or LEVANDOVSKY. We have Koscielny, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Xhaka, Wilshere and Elneny,also Welbeck,Ozil and the great Sanchez. Arsenal have to buy another goalkeeper because Ospina was mediocre and the Czech prevent mistakes. I would recommend TIM KRUL from Newcastle. We need a left back like Mascherano. Must be sign a central stopper as Mats HUMMELS!!!

  7. Nicolas

    May 26, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Pls Oliver Giroud should be removed from the squad, with Giroud as a striker in Arsenal team we can’t win the league and UCL. Wenger should get us a world class striker. Oliver has spent 4 (four) seasons in Arsenal FC and hasn’t score more than 16 (sixteen) goals in a season. Check in the History of premier league all the clubs that has won the league the striker in the team must score 20 and above goals

  8. Michael Saoke

    May 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I must appreciate the club for bringing Xhaka. He is an excellent midfielder. I cant wait to see how he will line up with other midfielders we have like Elnany, Carzola, coquelin, etc… We now have only one problem in the squad….. STRIKER! Wenger should do something about it… My arsenal dream squad….. Cech Bellerin Gabriel Koscienly Monreal[ though we can find another replacement for monreal] Carzola and Xhaka in the mid… Welbec Ozil and Sanchez…. Lewandowski

  9. Bashir

    May 26, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Are you crazy or Kidding? It’s amazing Formation includes Ramsey,Giroud,Monereal, Cech and Ozil I’d like all those players drop the team also sell because of thay are poor perfomance some of them like Ramsey and Giroud another thay are so weak like Ozil he can’t defense him self Look all tje goals against Cech Mostly they were in below shoots 28gool all the competition against Cech was shoot below I’d like to Force formation like Donourouma Ac milan goalkeper Bellerin Morquenis Gabrial flipe lius or young lecister left back Defense midfielder xhaka wilshere and coquelin Also forward Alexis sanches Santi cazorla and Lewonndwisky 4 3 3

  10. patrick B Julu

    May 26, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Patrick form Liberia
    Arsenal need to move on top this season

  11. Andres

    May 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Are you crazy??? Santi and le coq cant bench.. coquelin and carzola almost brought us the EPL before santi got injured.. we should sell ramsey for free

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