How Arsenal could line up next season with Gabriel Magalhaes, Saliba, Willian, Ceballos and Aouar


Mikel Arteta will be hopeful that Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer will provide him with greater team depth and tactical flexibility as the new 2020-21 season approaches.

A key example of this is defense, with Arteta preferring to play three in Arsenal’s run to FA Cup glory last season.

The £ 25million signing of Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes will provide competition for fellow left center-back Pablo Mari, while in the long run he looks like an ideal partner for right-footed William Saliba.

Arsenal could line up in a full-three from Gabriel, David Luiz and Saliba next season – but Arteta can opt for a pair from Gabriel and Saliba in the future.

The Spaniard is believed to be keen on playing a long-term 4-3-3 formation, with Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin the two full-backs if the latter does not leave this summer.

Gabriel Magalhaes – In the profile

Emi Martinez will be hoping to keep his place in goal with fitness-strapped Bernd Leno, but in the long run Arteta has to decide who his No.1 is.

Martinez is happy to stay at Arsenal, but wants assurances on his playing time and he offers to leave.

In midfield, Arsenal will be hoping to be able to sign Dani Ceballos on loan again as he formed a good partnership with Granit Xhaka last season.

Real Madrid have recalled the Spaniard and want him to participate in the pre-season, but a move to Arsenal seems likely.

Thomas Partey is another player who could join the midfielder, but so far Arsenal have not activated their € 50million (£ 45million) release clause and Atletico Madrid will not accept no lower fees.

Before that, if Arteta picks four in defense, we might see a new offense this season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can start on the left and Nicolas Pepe on the right, Willian playing No.10. But the interest in Houssem Aouar could change the first four and push back Alexandre Lacazette.

The Brazilian was signed from Chelsea due to his versatility and although he will play wide at times, he can also be deployed in the middle.

“We had a clear intention to strengthen the attacking midfield and the winger. [and] he’s a player who gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions, ”said Arteta.

Willian embodies the new tactical flexibility Arteta hopes to gain from his team and the extra depth he will want.

In attack, Alexandre Lacazette should lead the line. The Frenchman is attracting interest from Juventus, but so far there have been no concrete offers for him.

(4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Willian, Aouar, Pepe; Aubameyang.


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