Four midfield line-ups Arsenal could use this Premier League season
The midfield has been a problem area for Arsenal for some time now, while fans are still waiting for a replacement for Patrick Vieira.
Former Arsenal striker Paul Merson even insisted that Arsenal should have signed Fabian Delph in midfield. In Merson's opinion the former Manchester City player was "better than the midfield three that played against Tottenham".
But that might be going too far as Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira compare very favourably with Delph, statistically. Besides, the three Arsenal players have age on their side as well.
Even so, considering that Emery has played a variety of midfield combinations in the last three games, it's likely that he still does not still know his best midfield. The loan signing of Dani Ceballos and the emergence of Joe Willock has added more uncertainty to Emery's midfield selections.
Here's a look at midfield combinations that would be ideal against different opposition:
#1 Guendouzi, Torreira & Ceballos
Much was made about Guendouzi's performance in the North London derby, and rightly so. Little was known about the Frenchman when he traded Lorient in Ligue 2 for a move to North London. However, he has been a consistent performer for Unai Emery and has graduated into a regular and a fan favourite.
At 20 years of age, Matteo Guendouzi has potential to become a world class midfielder and a starter for Arsenal and France for many years. He is so assured that he looks the more experienced one when paired with Xhaka in midfield.
Lucas Torreira became a fan favourite in a very short time at Arsenal. His tenacity and aggressiveness brought a welcome addition to Arsenal's midfield last season. His form tailed off a little towards the end of last season but that can only be expected of a player in his first season in the most hectic league in the world. He is still very young at 23 years old and can improve his passing into the final third.
Dani Ceballos has already sprayed some of his Spanish flair on this Arsenal side. The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder reminded the Emirates faithful of their other Spanish stars in Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla. Fans would be hoping he has no future at the Bernabeu and would choose to extend his stay in North London,
Emery can have Torreira as the deep lying midfielder and Guendouzi and Ceballos either side of him. He could also ask Guendouzi and Torreira to play in a double pivot defensive midfield role with Ceballos acting as the attacking midfielder in the No 10 role.
This trio eliminates the careless mistakes of Granit Xhaka, the relative inexperience of Joe Willock and Ozil's unwillingness to do a job off the ball. Against top opposition in the Premier League and the Europa league, this midfield combination will provide energy, grit and quality on the ball.