Arsenal signing Houssem Aouar could provide manager Mikel Arteta with a huge selection headache. Arteta has reportedly made Aouar his top target for the remainder of the summer transfer window, with a bid of over £36million ready to be lodged for the Lyon star. However, fitting the 22-year-old into his current XI, and keeping everyone happy, may prove difficult.
Arsenal have found a winning formula which has seen them overcome Liverpool twice, Manchester City and Chelsea in recent months.
Arteta has used a 3-4-3 formation which worked wonders in their FA Cup triumph last season.
Realistically, there are only two positions in that formation where Aouar could play if he were to join – the two central-midfield roles.
The young Frenchman can play further forward and has, at times, played from the left-hand side.
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But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has that position nailed down and Arteta is unlikely to use Aouar on the right while he has Willian, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka available.
You would think Aouar would almost immediately become a regular starter for the Gunners if they are eventually prepared to pay the reported asking price of up to £54m.
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Granit Xhaka has become almost indispensable for Arteta following a huge turnaround in his Arsenal career.
The newly-appointed Switzerland captain was booed off by supporters at the Emirates less than a year ago but is now a crucial part of Arteta’s plans.
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So Aouar could become Xhaka’s regular partner in midfield, but where would that leave Dani Ceballos?
Ceballos has re-joined for a second season on loan from Real Madrid following his successful first campaign.
The Spain international was integral in the FA Cup win and was desperate to return to the Emirates.
But not everything was rosy for the 24-year-old last season.
A torn muscle ruled him out for a period of two months between November and December 2019.
Once fit, Ceballos found it difficult to regain a spot under new coach Arteta and did not start a Premier League match again until February 16.
In fact, reports claimed Ceballos wanted to leave the Gunners in January due to a lack of game time and return to Real to boost his hopes for Euro 2020, which was eventually postponed.
Ceballos ended up staying, but that problem could arise again.
The Euros will now take place next summer and Ceballos will be keen to once again stake a claim to be in Luis Enrique’s squad.
However, the arrival of Aouar could potentially decrease the minutes he gets on the field.
Arteta may be forced into changing his formation to accommodate both players or risk Ceballos once again wanting to end his loan early.
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