Where do Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan fit?
It is safe to say that Arsenal has won the January transfer window.
The North London club has followed up the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United with the club-record signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. But where do the new additions fit in the Arsenal lineup? Put yourself in Wenger’s shoes, where would Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Mkhi, Lacazette and Aubameyang play?
Let me try and get into Wenger’s mind.
Option one: 3-4-3
Aubameyang can play down the left. Klopp -while at BvB- often used him as a left forward. This formation sees a front three of Mkhitaryan-Aubameyang-Lacazette. In this case, Laca is the classic centre-forward. Mkhi is down the right and Ozil, as usual, at No.10. This formation, however, cannot accommodate Wilshere or Ramsey. Xhaka will come in. Bellerin and Kolasinac will be fullbacks, and a back three of Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal will work.
Option two: 3-4-3
Another 3-4-4, yes, but with Lacazette off and Ozil forced to play as a winger. On the left. Mkhitaryan maintains his position on the right and Wilshere comes in to help Xhaka in the mid. Well, a few would go with Ramsey. This sees Aubameyang fed by Ozil, Mkhitaryan and to be fair, maybe Wilshere. The back three and the wing backs remain. Probably because Wenger wouldn’t change it too. If I’m to take Ozil to his usual No.10 spot, then Wilshere will go off and in comes Iwobi. Wenger might actually do this. Anything to ensure Iwobi plays.
Option three: 4-3-1-2
This would work for Wilshere. He comes in with Xhaka and Mkhitaryan in the mid. Kolasinac goes off and Monreal plays as a LB. This however does not make sense with Bellerin on as his speed is best used going forward. However, it means Wenger will have both Aubameyang and Lacazette down the middle. Attacking football. Well, that is if they don’t run into each other’s space. However, it could quickly switch to a 4-1-3-2, allowing Wilshere and Mkhitaryan to play as advanced midfielders either side of Ozil. Trust me, you would not want that attack coming at your team’s defense.
At the back of my mind, I know Wenger will probably never play both Lacazette and Aubameyang at the same time unless they are down and Wenger wants all his ‘guns’ on to fight back.