Thursday 26 April 2018

How Arsenal's starting XI might look next season if Jamie Vardy arrives?

Arsene Wenger is expected to make a number of acquisitions this summer
Arsene Wenger is expected to make a number of acquisitions this summer

Jeremy Wilson and Charlie Eccleshare

With Arsenal confirming the signing of Granit Xhaka, we look at who else Arsene Wenger might buy and how the side could line up next season.

The following 11 players are set up in Wenger's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

GK: Petr Cech

Didn't quite prove to be the gamechanger Arsenal fans had been hoping for, but Cech still kept more Premier League clean sheets than anyone else last season. Will certainly still be Arsenal's No 1 come August.

Petr Cech was in fine form for Arsenal

RB: Hector Bellerin

The only Arsenal player in the PFA team of the season, Bellerin had a superb 2015-16 season. Hard to believe he's still only 21, Bellerin looks to be the club's first-choice right back for years to come (or at least until Barcelona poach him).

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin roars satisfaction at scoring his side's third goal

CB: Laurent Koscielny

An excellent defender who looks to have eradicated the rash decision making that were a feature of his early years in England. One of the first names on the Arsenal team-sheet.

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny

CB: Kostas Manolas

With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel failing to convince at the heart of the Arsenal defence this season, Wenger is expected to sign a centre-back in the summer. Roma and Greece defender Manolas fits the bill, having impressed in Serie A since joining two years ago, and being relatively young at 24. Strong in the air and in the tackle, Manolas is also attracting interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Arsenal-linked Kostas Manolas is reportedly in Italy for a medical with Roma

LB: Nacho Monreal

Arsenal's unusng hero and a model of consistency over the past two years. Ben Chilwell may be signed from Leicester in the summer but in the short-term at least he would replace Kieran Gibbs as second choice rather than taking Monreal's spot.

Nacho Monreal has signed a new Arsenal contract

CM: Granit Xhaka

Arsenal confirmed on May 25 that Xhaka will be joining them from Monchengladbach, with the fee believed to be around £30m. Xhaka is a combative midfielder, who should add steel to an area Arsenal have been lightweight in for the best part of a decade.

Arsenal have agreed to sign Granit Xhaka

CM: Santi Cazorla

Already a key player for Arsenal, supporters realised just how integral Santi is to their team with every passing week without him. The midfielder knits everything together and is a key provider for Mesut Ozil to pull the strings further forward. Of all the injuries Arsenal suffered last season, Santi's was the most costly.

Santi Cazorla has suffered an Achilles injury

RM: Aaron Ramsey

Vying with Jack Wilshere for the nominally right-sided role in an attacking three, Ramsey will likely get the nod thanks to his energy and athleticism. Still divides the Arsenal fans, some of whom are frustrated by the midfielder's inferior technical ability compared to some of his team-mates.

Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring for Arsenal

AM: Mesut Ozil

Faded after Christmas following a stunning start to the campaign, Ozil was still one of Arsenal's best players last season. There's also an argument to say the assists dried up because of the poor finishing of Arsenal's strikers. In any case, 19 Premier League assists is a wonderful return, and the team will continue to be built around the German in 2016-17.

Mesut Ozil (PA)

LM: Alexis Sanchez

Reportedly unhappy at Arsenal after being subbed off against Norwich, it would still be a major surprise if the Chilean left this summer. Alexis struggled with injuries and fitness last season and could really do with a summer off to recharge. Unfortunately for Arsenal though, the special centenary Copa America this summer means he will be playing in a major tournament for the third successive summer.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez hit the woodwork five times in the 2015-16 Premier League season

ST: Jamie Vardy

24 league goals last season for champions Leicester. Enough said.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is reportedly a target for Arsenal

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