The departure of talisman Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United brought huge sadness to the Arsenal faithful and the view was that all was lost for Wenger and his men.
The club however turned things around by securing the signatures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Even though they lost Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin in the process, the future looks bright as they now have arguably a deadlier attack for Wenger to utilize.
Mkhitaryan featured for the first time in Arsenal colors against Swansea City on Tuesday and now Aubameyang is expected to make his debut against Tottenham on 10th February. Let’s take a look at how the new signings can fit into the club’s lineup.
This is a formation that Wenger used to treasure so much before he switched to the 3-4-2-1 last season and it may be used again considering the turn of events.
If he reverts back to this setup, it is highly likely that Pierre will be shifted to the left, Mkhitaryan on the right, Lacazette up top and Ozil in his favorite number 10 role.
In the case of Aubameyang, it may not be his comfort zone but he does love to cut inside and he being a right footed player makes it easier for him to feature on the left if Lacazette is played as the center forward.
Mkhitaryan will have no problem on the right as he’s an ambidextrous player and can provide great service to Lacazette if there’s a need for a few crosses.
His defensive work is excellent as well and so Bellerin will have cover if the Spaniard decides to make one of his overlaps.
The drawback of this for the team is that Aubameyang isn’t known to respond to defensive duties which will in turn leave Monreal exposed most of the time. A way to somehow cover for that is to sacrifice Lacazette and introduce Alex Iwobi on the left.
This formation will make great use of all the top attacking talent that Arsenal has at its disposal.
This system promises a deadly combination of Aubameyang and Lacazette up top with Mkhitaryan and Ozil providing the supply from the left and right side respectively.
The creative duo can choose to switch flanks if there’s a need to provide more crosses for Aubameyang or Lacazette to pounce on.
This formation will be trouble for opposition sides to defend as the creators Ozil and Henrikh will have the liberty of making full use of their pinpoint passing ability to find any of the front two men.
Aubameyang and Lacazette are also known for their excellent movement in the box so will complement each other well.
The system will make counter attacks sharper as they can rely on the pace of Aubameyang, Lacazette and even Mkhitaryan with Ozil providing the killer pass.
The disadvantage of this setup is the defensive aspect, Xhaka and Ramsey/Wilshere will be exposed in the middle if by any chance the opposition gains possession in transition.
Ozil’s flank will be exposed most of the time too as the German barely responds well to defensive duties. A way to remedy this is to switch the formation to one that will have an extra man in midfield.
This was the go-to formation of Arsene Wenger during the final stages of last season and may well be the formation Wenger chooses in light of this new look side he has available to him.
This particular set up ensures that Lacazette drops to the bench leaving Aubameyang upfront with Mkhitaryan and Ozil playing right behind him on the left and right respectively.
This will be a particularly good attacking setup apart from the 4-2-2-2 because the front three in this case are very flexible and can switch positions which will be a very big problem to the opposition defenses.
Also, the two chief creators in this system get closer to Aubameyang and can provide him with the much needed service to get his goal scoring campaign underway.
The little blip here is the wing backs will have to do all the work on the flanks as Ozil and Mkhitaryan will most likely roam around the middle to try and play Pierre in.
The center of midfield can get exposed at times too if Ozil or Mkhitaryan fail to go back and add to the midfield numbers when the team lacks possession.
The gaffer can decide to bring Alex Iwobi in to replace Ozil and make it a typical 3-4-3 to deal with the width problem or let Mkhitaryan move back to increase the numbers in central midfield when they do not have possession of the ball. The Mkhitaryan choice is due to his defensive work rate which is superior to that of Ozil.
Arsene Wenger recently changed to this system immediately after Alexis Sanchez left the side to the Red Devils and it worked really well against Crystal Palace. It did not bring the required result against Swansea but with time he can help his side perfect it.
In this system, the manager can choose to leave Aubameyang Upfront with Mkhitaryan on the left and Ozil on the right. The midfield here shall comprise of Mohammed Elneny in defensive midfield with Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere playing just ahead of him.
This system provides balance in the center of the park for the Gunners and injects enough creativity in attack for Aubameyang to score.
The con of this particular system will be the left flank. In here Mkhitaryan can cover for Bellerin most of the time but Ozil will not be able to do same for Monreal or Kolasinac.
Alex Iwobi playing instead of Ozil can help things defensively and if Iwobi doesn’t hold the ball for too long in possession, the side will be really dangerous on the counter as well.
Alternatively, Lacazette can play as the focal point in attack and have Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan in support at the wings.
In midfield however, Elneny will have to be sacrificed and Xhaka will end up playing as a defensive midfielder with Ozil and Wilshere or Ramsey playing ahead of him to give it a more attacking look.
One problem here is Xhaka is simply not good enough to handle the role of a defensive midfielder as he can barely put a tackle in without committing a foul. Another con is the left flank will once again be exposed defensively.
This system is also an option that can suit most of the players Wenger has in his team. The 4-4-2 diamond which has been used most of the time by Zinedine Zidane this season is a possession based system that usually focuses attacks from the middle.
In this setup, Wenger can pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang upfront and leave Ozil behind them in the number 10 role.
Mkhitaryan can join Wilshere as the two midfielders in front of the defensive midfielder (Xhaka or Elneny) and although the Armenian will not be in his comfort zone, Arsene Wenger was known to have said during the week that Henrikh can take up the role of a box to box midfielder.
The main problem with this formation is that the full backs will be overburdened with the task of going forward to provide crosses and come back to defend without the help of a winger.
Another problem is counter attacks will not be as effective as they team will mainly focus on keeping hold of the ball.