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Where will Mkhitaryan fit at Arsenal?

Analysis: Where Wenger can play Arsenal new boy Mkhitaryan

January 23, 2018 By Ali M.
The Armenian finally completed his Emirates Stadium move, but the issue of his role at the club remains a question.

Arsenal has finally completed the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Although the Gunners lost a quality player with Alexis Sanchez heading the other way to Man United, the Armenian is a quality addition regardless.

Many might be happy about his arrival, as their former Chilean attacker was destined to leave. However, this leaves Arsene Wenger with a big question: where will the playmaker fit in Arsenal’s lineup? Here we explore Le Prof’s options.

Out wide

This would be typical Wenger. Arsene has several times before played players out wide when their preferred role was the no.10 position. Since the Armenian replaces Sanchez, he would naturally be put on the left wing.

Mesut Ozil, who has been in excellent form as of late, would play on the right with Lacazette as the main striker in a 3-4-2-1 formation. If Wenger was to deploy a 4-3-3 system as he did in the 4-1 win over Palace, Mkhitaryan would be on the left and his German counterpart on the right.

In the CAM role

Henrikh enjoyed his best football playing in the no.10 role at Dortmund with only Aubameyang ahead of him. As a result, Wenger could entertain the thought of playing the January signing in the central attacking midfield role. This would probably require the Gunners’ traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, with Wilshere and Xhaka sitting in front of the defense and Iwobi playing on the left wing.

Ozil has long been vying for that position, as he is not a natural winger. Nonetheless, the World Cup winner still has the freedom to drift inside when put on the right.

What if Aubameyang comes in January?

A lot could change if he arrives at the Emirates Stadium, but that’s a big if. The Dortmund ace was used as a right winger in his early Signal Iduna Park days, meaning Ozil might be handed the CAM role and Mkhitaryan pushed to the left side to accommodate both Lacazette and the Gabonese.

An even far-fetched possibility is playing both the former St. Etienne and Lyon forwards in a 4-4-2 system, with the Armenian and German playing on opposite wings. This would be difficult, though, as Wilshere and Xhaka are not the types to flourish in that system.

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