How the new-look Arsenal should line up
Arsenal ended up having a great January transfer window and this is how Arsene Wenger should set up the starting XI with his new signings.
In a January transfer window that started out miserably for Arsenal fans, the club's eventual signings look to be exciting captures. The loss of star man Alexis Sanchez was a blow - such was his talent and ability to decide games on his own - but his form had tailed off significantly after last season. The sense is that the club may be better off without such a disruptive presence in the dressing room.
The sale of Olivier Giroud isn't one to be taken lightly but in the bewildering transfer merry-go-round that occurred towards the end of the window, it resulted in one of Arsenal's strongest signings in years: the £56 million move to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. The Gabon international has been one of Europe's most feared strikers for the past few seasons, as he plundered his way to an incredible 98 goals in a mere 144 league appearances for his former side.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan also arrived as part of the move that took Sanchez to Manchester United and the hope is that he will rediscover stronger form in London; the talent within the player is certainly there. For the first time in perhaps a long time, Arsenal fans can feel excited about their team's future. Arsene Wenger now has the enviable job of fitting all his new attacking talent into his starting team. Let us have a look at the strongest possible starting XI for the Gunners.
The big Czech goalkeeper may have made an uncharacteristic mistake in Arsenal's loss to Swansea this month, but he still remains a solid pair of hands at the back at his best. At 35, Cech isn't as flexible and agile as he once was but his commanding presence is still a feature of his game.
His performances, on the whole, have been strong enough to merit his inclusion over backup David Ospina and, at his age, Cech should still have another year at this level of competition; an experienced head to offer protection to this new-look Arsenal team.
Cech is a three-time winner of the EPL and this knowledge will be invaluable if this new-look Arsenal side do gel and take the team up the table. With Arsenal bringing in two new key players further up the pitch, Cech can be the steady rock that forms the core of Arsenal's defence.