Following the appointment of Mikel Arteta, Arsenal fans have something to truly look forward to having endured a disappointing Premier League campaign so far.
Here’s a look at the Spaniard’s possible XI going into the second half of the season;
GK – Bernd Leno
Leno has been the unluckiest player at Arsenal this season. The German goalkeeper has kept a total of three clean sheets in 18 appearances, due in large part to his side’s poor backline.
Leno remains the best goalkeeper on Arsenal’s roster and is pretty much guaranteed a place in Arteta’s lineup.
RB – Hector Bellerin
Bellerin is expected to secure his place in Arteta’s first-team lineup against Bournemouth on boxing day having been absent for majority of the first half of Arsenal’s Premier League campaign.
Arteta will be hoping that Bellerin can attain the high performance levels that he’s capable of.
CB – Sokratis
Sokratis is not good enough to be at Arsenal. The Greek defender has proven to be a weak link in Arsenal’s defence this season, but despite all that, he’s the best defender Arteta can call upon, so he’s expected to be a starter under the Spanish tactician until the Gunners are able to bring in some new centre-backs.
CB – David Luiz
Like Sokratis, David Luiz has been below par for Arsenal this season, but he remains one of Arsenal’s best defensive options until they’re able to bring in new players. A case could be made for Mustafi to get the nod ahead of Luiz, but he’s been equally as bad as the Brazilian this season.
LB – Bukayo Saka
With Kieran Tierney out for an extended period of time, Bukayo Saka is likely to be Arteta’s preferred left-back especially considering the brilliant display he put up against Everton.
CDM – Lucas Torreira
Lucas Torreira is, by a mile, Arsenal’s best defensive midfielder hence he’s expected to play a key role in Arteta’s plans going forward.
The Uruguayan has put up some questionable performances this season, but if he’s able to be a consistent performer for the rest of the season, then Arsenal will be able to boast of a strong midfield set-up.
CDM – Matteo Guendouzi
With Granit Xhaka tipped to leave Arsenal in January, Matteo Guendouzi looks set to form a midfield double-act under Mikel Arteta.
The young Frenchman was a mainstay under Unai Emery and gained a reputation for being a tireless midfielder capable of contributing across both ends of the pitch. Under Arteta’s tutelage, Guendouzi could become a world-class midfielder.
CAM – Mesut Ozil
Despite being past his prime, Mesut Ozil remains one of the most creative midfielders in the Premier League. He is yet to hit a stride at Arsenal this season having struggled under Unai Emery.
Following Arteta’s arrival, there’s a strong chance Ozil could revitalise his career.
RW – Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe failed to justify his price tag in the first half of the season having bagged just two goals and registered three assists in 15 appearances.
If he can find his form, he will become a key figure at Arsenal, hence, Arteta is expected to give him a chance to show the Premier League what he’s really made of in the second half of the league campaign.
LW – Gabriel Martinelli
Martinelli is set to miss three games due to an international call-up, but upon his return, the Brazilian starlet is expected to become a mainstay in Arteta’s Arsenal team considering the tremendous promise he has shown so far.
ST – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Despite Arsenal’s poor form, Aubameyang has managed to bag 11 Premier League goals this season, some of which led Arsenal to important victories. He remains Arsenal’s most important player due to his pace and ability to pop up with goals in dire situations.
Aubameyang will most definitely play a key role under Arteta.