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Part 3: Is Arsenal's Left Wing Solution Already at the Club?

TSF writer Michael Keshani finishes this discussion with his vision for the squad and lineup if Arsene Wenger targets other areas of the pitch in the summer transfer window

Shaun Botterill

In part two of our discussion, Michael Keshani covered how he feels our squad and starting lineup would look like if we got one, or both, of Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann.

In our final post regarding internal options at Arsenal for the much-aligned left wing position this past season, Kesh rounds back to how he would like to see the starting lineup filled if Arsene Wenger decides, for whatever reason, not to purchase a player in this role and instead rely back on the current members in our squad.


TK: Let's say we get neither Vela or Griezmann, or any other player capable of filling in for Lukas Podolski on the left, assuming he goes back to, say, newly-promoted 1. FC Koln. Let's go back to your initial tweet regarding internal options.

I know you said earlier that none of the current options are offering what we need now, but as we know with Arsene Wenger he's more than willing to place his trust in players in situations many other managers wouldn't. A summer without a new player better suited on the left wouldn't shock me as much as Wenger splashing some cash reserve on a quality player capable of playing on the left. Especially if he opts to spend a large portion of the available funds on a striker or Javi Martinez, if Pep Guardiola's still set in his Philipp Lahm experiment and FC Bayern make the Spaniard available.

If we're faced with that prospect of seeing a current squad member assuming full duties out there, which one of the options would be your preference, and why?

MK: Assuming full duties on the wings? I hope Jack Wilshere is used as a right winger more than anything else by a distance next season. I've spoken and written extensively about the issues with him in the deeper midfield pair, but he needs games and is good from the right side. Ideally we wouldn't need him to play in the central pair a lot because Aaron Ramsey will hopefully stay fit and we may be able to get a better option (I'll address that next).

Wilshere being considered as a right sided player leaves Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain used on the left more often than not, where they're most effective. Theo Walcott will need easing back in, so games won't be low in number for him. And with both the other two and Serge Gnabry being capable on both sides, if he's injured or out of form, you just shift one of them over.

If we sign a defensive midfielder who's capable as a box-to-box like, say, Lars Bender, Morgan Schneiderlin or Daley Blind, we can play one of them next to Mike Arteta or Mathieu Flamini in the event of wanting to rest Ramsey or if he has an injury, but their main jobs being to play next to him most of the time. With that in mind, he can play next to Arteta and even Flamini comfortably, so they themselves would hopefully not get overworked, or indeed be under-covered, so theoretically, everyone is rotated when necessary and no one gets overworked. Theoretically.

Finding that right DM/all-rounder could be difficult, though. I'd burn down most of England for Javi but I'm not optimistic about getting him.


Thanks again to Kesh for answering these questions with thought and insight, and I hope you enjoyed reading and commenting about this particular situation as we did talking about it.