Should Arsenal play Saka at left-back against Brighton?

Arsenal had a massive double blow last week when they lost both Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey to long term injuries, with some massive fixtures coming up in the next few weeks.

But the biggest problem that Mikel Arteta has today is who can replace Tierney in the left-back position. Although Nuno Tavares in the obvious candidate, he has been extremely out-of-form in recent appearances. Arteta could also move Granit Xhaka to the back line, but that would leave us severely weakened in our midfield.

But we also have Bukayo Saka, who played as a wing-back many times when he was first brought into the First XI, and was extremely impressive and can easily bomb up the wings like Tierney.

Martin Keown obviously thinks that Saka is the solution, and he told TalkSport: “We’ve got to find Arsenal a solution to the left-back problem, I’d like to see Saka go to left-back.

“I know that’s radical, but I’d rather see that than Xhaka there, who is going to get exposed, if you’re creating such a weakness in the team, then you’ve got to fill it.

“I think Saka could go to left-back and still do damage from the left, [Nicolas] Pepe back onto the right hand side, [Gabriel] Martinelli on the left.

“It’s about the best XI, but if you’ve got an issue with a player to such an extent that everything’s going down that side and mistakes are being made and you don’t believe in the player, then you can’t play him.

“So I’d go ‘OK, we’re not going to play Tavares’ but I don’t think Xhaka is the answer, he certainly isn’t, they’d be setting teams up to exploit that weakness, it won’t be long before Xhaka is off the pitch and Arsenal are down to ten men again. Play Saka there.”

He makes a very good point about Xhaka, but would we also miss having Saka on the left wing?

Maybe Arteta could move Cedric to the left, and use Ben White on the right, with Gabriel and Holding in the middle?

What is your opinion?

Tags Cedric Granit Xhaka Saka

4 Comments

  1. Not scoring enough goals remains the biggest threat to our top 4 chances and Mr Keown wants to play our joint top goal scorer and most consistent forward at left back, genius

  2. Arsenal could play 3 centre backs, 4 or 5 in midfield and not weaken the team at all. Holding, Gabriel and Holding would be the three centre backs. We have wide players like Martinelli and Saka and central players a plenty. Injuries are part and parcel of the game, we dont have many and what we have, you deal with.

  3. Its wasting our best player to play SAKA as left wing back. Cedric to switch wings, White at RB, Holding coming in, Pepe (of necessity) on the right wing with MARTINELLI in the centre. I’d play SAKA wide left and consider him better on that wing.
    At all costs, NO Tavares in the team at all; it would be a ruinous decision!!

    Bad enough having to put up (again , through necessity) with XHAKA, without compounding our problems with TAVARES.

  4. Tavares is more than capable of filling in for the Tierney as we saw earlier in the season ,seems some fans have found a new scapegoat for the managers short comings on Monday night .
    Saka should stay exactly where he’s been playing all season .
    If Arteta does not fancy Tavares then I would imagine Cedric moves over and holding comes into the centre .
    My worry for the game is having Lokonga Xhaka and Odegaard control of that middle as they aren’t the quickest and Brighton would have seen how palace pretty much bullied us last game .
    Should be an easy win as Brighton have 1 win in the last 10 I believe

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