Arsene Wenger is the only man whose opinion of Arsenal’s best XI will truly count, but armed with a squad many are tipping capable of winning a first Premier League title in a decade, the constitution of that team certainly makes for an intriguing debate.
The Gunners’ compelling 3-0 victory over champions Manchester City in the Community Shield can only have further convinced Arsenal’s sympathisers that this could be the season at odds of 13/2.
But given the new additions to his squad, who does Wenger have in mind to start when he has all his squad available to him? Here’s how we see it:
Although Colombian international David Opsina has arrived to give competition to Wojciech Szczesny between the sticks, Wenger has faith in his number one.
In front of the Pole, there’s no reason to believe last season’s central-defensive stalwarts Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker’s partnership should be split apart.
Kieran Gibbs is streets ahead of Nacho Monreal at left-back, while Southampton recruit Calum Chambers will have to be patient as fellow newbie Mathieu Debuchy’s understudy at right-back.
It’s in midfield and attack where Wenger will earn his crust though in what we expect to be a 4-2-3-1 system.
Given the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean simply has to take one of the three-attacking positions and because of Theo Walcott’s preference to play on the right, the former Barcelona flyer takes up the left-hand slot.
However, the fluidity of Arsenal’s movement means you’d fully expect the trio which houses Mesut Ozil loosely as a number 10, to interchange positions regularly.
Up front, Olivier Giroud is the perfect foil to hold the ball up and make space in behind for the nippier players to exploit.
This is the reason goal-hungry Aaron Ramsey has to be one half of any central midfield two instead of Jack Wilshere, who can’t be trusted to play a purely holding role in tandem.
This specialist function goes to experienced Frenchman Mathieu Flamini, meaning Mikel Arteta would also be joining the England man on the bench.
Do you agree?
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