Arsenal’s pursuit of Leeds United winger Raphinha has triggered many questions surrounding the destiny of Bukayo Saka, but that need not be the case because the pair can play inside the equal side.
Whilst the Gunners have already had a bid knocked lower back by using Leeds for the Brazil worldwide, it became mentioned by means of The Athletic over the weekend that more talks are deliberate with an elevated offer for the 25-12 months-antique anticipated – although it could take parting ways with £65m to get a deal done.
If a hit and Arsenal do control to complete the signing of Raphinha earlier than the outlet sport of the new Premier League season on August 5 then Mikel Arteta will virtually be spoilt for desire on the subject of selecting who should begin at the right-wing in opposition to Crystal Palace.
READ MORE: Bukayo Saka destiny puzzled amid Arsenal’s push to signal marquee Raphinha in huge switch
Considering Raphinha is predominantly a proper-winger, is it safe to assume that he could get the nod at Selhurst Park particularly if he’s the north London outfit’s maximum highly-priced signing this summer time? If so then what would it imply for Saka who multiplied his purpose output ultimate season from this role?
Well, Arteta does have the easy alternative of moving the England global over to the left-wing. After all, this was the plan at the beginning of final season till it become ditched for the first North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur in September as the Arsenal manager settled on the right formulation.
So if it’s inside the Spaniard’s questioning ought to Raphinha arrive this summer time then Saka isn’t always the handiest Arsenal megastar who can be exceeded a brand new function next season due to a mini-shake up at the flanks.
Perhaps the most important casualty from Saka running from the left-wing next season would be Emile Smith Rowe. After signing a new contract last summer, getting the wide variety 10 shirt, making his senior England debut and arguably being the Gunners’ best player for the first 1/2 of the 2021/22 marketing campaign, health issues and Gabriel Martinelli’s form noticed him play more of a chunk-element function for the the rest of the season.
And primarily based on how remaining season concluded there may be every danger Martinelli is firmly ahead of the 21-yr-vintage in the pecking order. Then while factoring in that Saka would possibly get extra probabilities at the left except Arteta plans on rotating him and Raphinha on the right-wing which seems unlikely.
Although the chance of being the third-preference left-winger subsequent season might not be an excessive amount of of a problem for Smith Rowe as his versatility – as already highlighted by Arteta – method he’ll always be inside the supervisor’s mind in relation to the Arsenal beginning line-up.
“I suppose Smith Rowe can play in 4 positions,” the Spaniard said after the Gunners didn’t sign a striker in the January transfer window closed. “He can play as a left-winger, he can play as a left attacking midfielder, proper attacking midfielder and he can play as a nine; very, thoroughly I suppose.”
Despite tipping Smith Rowe as an option to lead the line, Arteta resisted the temptation to accomplish that ultimate season and with Eddie Nketiah signing a brand new settlement coupled with the approaching arrival of Gabriel Jesus, it appears unlikely that the experiment of the England U21 international as a ‘fake 9’ will come to fruition.
But the Gunners manager did test with Smith Rowe as considered one of ‘8’s’ in crucial midfield on multiple activities remaining season. Granted it did not exactly go as smoothly as one might have hoped however it stays an option for Arteta and he could use pre-season to iron out any kinks.
Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal with Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal during the Premier League suit among Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium. (Photo with the aid of Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
It’s nicely documented that Arsenal should do with an upgrade on Granit Xhaka in the ‘left 8’ position alongside Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard in what, on paper, is the strongest midfield Arteta can call and with Smith Rowe at his first-class when going for walks from deep with and with out the ball, he would possibly just be the solution.
Depending on what occurs with Arteta and Edu’s pursuit of Raphinha, if Saka can correctly transition into a left-winger and subsequent plans in pre-season training go smoothly, Smith Rowe’s new function subsequent season should see him drop lower back into his greater herbal midfield position.
In this situation, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Saka and Raphinha could all start in a totally attacking-minded Arsenal aspect in sure video games. A prospect that could truly go away the centre-forward – whether or not that be Gabriel Jesus or Nketiah – licking their lips on the possibilities being created for them.
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