Who should be Arsenal’s first-choice midfielders when fit?

With Arsenal’s transfer business so far in this window, we must surely be moving some players on, and I am thinking that surely a midfielder or two must be surplus to requirements?

Right now we have NINE players listed in that position…..

4 Mohamed Elneny
7 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
8 Aaron Ramsey
10 Mesut Ozil
11 Lucas Torreira
15 Ainsley Maitland-Niles
22 Jeff Reine-Adelaide
29 Matteo Guendouzi
34 Granit Xhaka

And if Jack Wilshere had’ve re-signed there would be ten. Emery explained that Jack wanted assurances that there would be a starting spot for him. The Spaniard said: “I explained to him my opinion and how I wanted to create the team, and I wasn’t sure he was going to play in the 11 players.

“Also he explained to me that the decision is not easy for him, but he wanted to chose the best option for him, and every time it is with respect.

“I know this player is important here for the supporters and he grew up here in Arsenal, but I can’t guarantee him a place in the starting 11. It was a tactical, technical decision.

“It is for that reason that he chose to leave here, and I respect this.”

I think that Jack expecting to be first choice with that lot available would be a little far-fetched to say the least. But looking at it from the other side… Would ANY of our midfielders be guaranteed to start when fit other than Ozil? If there were three others set to be on the pitch I think I would choose Torreira, Ramsey and Reine-Adelaide right now.

Who would you pick?


  1. Declan says:

    Depends on the formation and of course who else leaves this window, because some will, even those who just signed contract extensions…. there’s a clue there!

    1. Phelyx says:

      Where is iwobi

      1. Admin says:

        According to the Arsenal website, Iwobi is a striker….

        1. Arsene is Out says:

          Forward not Striker – Forwards also play on the wings.

    2. Ackshay says:

      we will most likely play a base of 2 central midfielder its 2 place for ramsey, torreira.
      xhaka, elneny, Niles and Guendouzi fighting for bench place.

  2. Juhi McLovin says:

    Now with the addition of Guendouzi, Elneny has become absolutely irrelevant for the team. That’s if he wasn’t before.

    He’s literally an arteta 2.0 with his sideways passing. His goal vs Barca few years ago is the only positive memory I got from him.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Elneny was actually good with his forward passes and through balls last season, but Wenger often use him as a DM

      I believe he would be better than Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil in CM position, if given more chances

      Unfortunately I think he would be sold or loaned, along with Adelaide and Willock

      1. Adepholly says:

        Elneny is in that cut. We lost to Athletic Madrid last season because no body in that midfield to do the Elneny thing for us. Remember, he was the man that took us pass CSKA Moscow in the quarter final. I believe he is of great importance. He might not be in the first 11, but he is a very good squad member.

    2. Innit says:

      We don’t know how good Guendouzi is?
      Also as a 19 year old, Emery won’t automatically put him above El Neny in the pecking order.
      Guendouzi may be loaned out too

      El Neny will probably be back up to Torreira as defensive midfielders with Guendouzi 3rd if he isn’t loaned out.

      Xhaka and Ramsey will fight for the other central midfield position

  3. gotanidea says:

    Because there would most likely be only three CMs in Emery’s formation, I think Emery would select:

    – Ozil: Because he is the highest paid and the most famous player in the team

    – Ramsey: Because Emery has said he would build his team around Ramsey and Ramsey is a British homegrown player. If Ramsey doesn’t sign, Max Meyer is still looking for a new club and is reportedly asking for 77K per week (I don’t know how good/ lousy Meyer is, but his salary demand is way below Ramsey’s and Ozil’s)

    – Torreira: Because he is Arsenal’s new DM

  4. Patrick_G says:

    Why wouldn’t you choose Mhiki over Adelaide?

  5. Mudassir says:





    I chose 4-2-3-1 because its Emery’s favourite.

    1. tas says:

      Mudassir all do i would prefer 3-5-2 but your line up is looking GOOOOD

      1. OzzieGunner says:


    2. Arsene is Out says:

      I think our team is better suited to play 4-3-3 or 3-5-2. With a 4-2-3-1- you need proper wingers which we are lacking at the moment.
      I would keep your defense but have a midfield of Torreira – AMN – Ramsey as we need fight in the middle of the pitch.
      I dont see Ozil playing in tough away games, He is more of a key to open stubborn defenses that stay behind the ball in numbers at the Emirates. Away from home – I prefer the above midfield as it’s full of fighters.

      1. Goonstar says:

        People keep going on about Ozil being good at unlocking defenses that sit back. When was the last timw he did that? Most of his Assists from his 2015-16 season were from Corners and free kicks etc. He never made these defense slipping passes people keep making up.
        He averages 7-8 assists per season. Smh

  6. Patrick_G says:

    Mhiki will be one of the most important players between the spaces of DM and CF. He will be the player to assist in transition from the DM player to players like Ozil and Strikers. Don’t underestimate his importance. Best signing has to be Torreira, we don’t need to worry too much about the likes of Adelaide, Xhaka, Elneny and whether they will play often, its the players who show the strength and experience that will rise to the top.

  7. Luke poisho says:

    That line will be okay to me, provided all the players becomes committed

  8. ruelando says:

    I will leave the selection of the team to the coach, it is obvious in training clips seen he gives players instructions and he watches how they manage the instruction and that was said basically by him in the media chat.

    He is formulating the best players to use in his system, so with the preseason games we might be getting some ideas

  9. Lupe says:

    Very good squad but we can’t deny its very unbalanced. We have too many good players that must play in the same positions. No matter the formation you pick someone would probably play out of position or even drop to the bench. Aubameyang and ozil would have to play on the wings to accomodate lacazette and ramsey. Rotation would be key and i trust Unai would understand this and use the players depending on the opponents. I am very anxious to see what team and formation he picks against man city on the first official match.

  10. Adega Olatunji says:

    Please with due respect I don’t know what all of you have seen in xhaka, as for me this guy is not good enough to be an arsenal player period.

  11. Eddie Hoyte says:

    If we don’t get a winger, let’s not bother with the whole 4-2-3-1 BS and start pushing Pea to the wing..

    I’d like a 4-4-2 diamond… but most importantly I’d go with 4-3-1-2 formation, it’s the only formation that will accommodate all our good players in their role without shifting em.


    Trust me, teams will dread bombing forward to attack us, Knowing we can just play a pass upfield and it’s done. Plus this team has Pace- Steele and creativity

    1. Me2 says:

      He plays a 4-2-3-1 formation which will mean Lacazette will be on the bench and Ozil plying in CM assuming he wants to keep him.
      Interesting times ahead…

    2. tas says:

      WOW your line up is also looking good, now i’m getting exited with our attacking capability hope our new boys will do a better job in defense

      1. tas says:

        I just hope Bellerin steps up with defending this season

    3. Sean says:

      Spot on! A winger bought so we can adjust to a 433 also for width.

    4. Pablo Picasso says:

      I like that selection.

      Not too confident on our LB selections. Monreal was playing his socks off last season and we didn’t see much of Sead to be honest. Without wingers our full back would require to off width, something that the French and Belgium teams effectively implemented minus losing sharp at the WC.

    5. Lupe says:

      @eddie hoyte
      Good team and formation but i have never seen unai emery use this formation or maybe i just never noticed it, the diamond formation might also leave us exposed defensively especially from the wings as the players who would have to help the full backs would be xhaka and ramsey which isn’t a good idea. Another problem is when we meet a formable team that is compact and strong in defence like atletico madrid from last season, we will need width from wingers in the one on ones and so they can also double up with the fullbacks to open up the team. If we are to play everybody in their right positions and maintain balance in the team while playing emery’s favorite formation, i think the team should look like this: 4-2-3-1

      Perez/welbeck ozil/ramsey Mkhi/nelson
      Xhaka/guendouzi torreira/elneny
      Back four and goal keeper

      Rotation would be key since we have some many competitions and incase of injuries and also changes would be made depending on the strength of opposition.

    6. dave says:

      yep thats the best line up for our current squad….also agree with sean winger idea…that’s what madrid do with asensio when they need width

    7. Lynn Gunner says:

      Eddie you must make a good Arsenal coach, that your formation is the bomb.

  12. Sean says:

    4312 is best to fit the 2stirkers & Ozil in the line up.

    3 across the midfield or a diamond shape for Torriera , Ramsey & Mhiki.

    Back 4 of Bell, Sok, Mavra & Kolas

    Leno in goals, learns from Cech along the way.

    Aubameyang Lacazette
    Ramsey Mhiki
    Kolasnic Mavraponas Sokaratis Bellerin

    1. Unai Emery says:

      That’s a smashing lineup

    2. ACE says:

      Ramseys inclusion would only work in this
      line up(heck any line up 4 that matter) if
      Emery places a shock color around his neck
      that reinforces what part of the pitch he is
      responsible for. Torreria will be a revelation at
      DM and will consume a ton of ground shielding
      the back 4 but if the Welshman continues to
      plays his selfish brand of futbol by bombing
      forward and exposing the young Uruguyan
      Arsenals midfield woes will remain.

      Still think an athletic, ball retention type B2B is
      what Arsenal desperately need in the center of
      the pitch. A Matuidi, Doucoure or Ndombele
      type would completely change the midfield
      dynamic at the Emirates and allow Ozil and
      company to work there magic.

      This may sound bizarre but if Ramsey does
      indeed stay and is prominently featured in that
      B2B role Arsenal will win more games if the Welshmans assist count doubles his goal tally
      for the season

  13. jon fox says:

    Reine -Adelaide is not remotely near ANY Arsenal Prem first choice 11 or even the 18. Maybe just the League Cup, in whatever guise it is called this season. His name should not be included in this list. He does have some ability but is still an unproved fringe player and likely to remain at that level, IMO.

  14. Jeremy says:

    If Ramsey don’t sign that thing, please let him go ASAP. Surely, we don’t need Sanchez Gate again.

    Also, I’m not sure people like to name him in the line-up without first considering his partner. He has to improve on his discipline. He and his partner will hold the door to our Defence. It will be an ultimate disaster if he and his partner decide to leave the door open.

    We will be flat because our defenders apart from Bellerin, are not known for speed.

  15. Innit says:

    It will most probably be either Aubameyang or Lacazette. Not both of them together

    We need them to last most of the season so I think Emery will give one rest while the other is playing

  16. Diana says:

    Am i the only one hoping Emery uses a 4-1-4-1 formation. It seems to balance both attack and defence.
    This might sound weird, but i would start Cech, Mustafi and Lichtsteiner ahead of their stronger opposition to properly start a positional fight, might be good.
    However, for weaker and semi weak teams that play mostly the long ball,i would play

    Then when playing stronger opposition Top 5 + Burnley+West Ham

    Mkhitaryan-Ozil-PEA on wing

    The two have shifts to allow a few technical and tactical shifts. For example, Lichtsteiner starts because he “generally” more disciplined postionally than Bellerin, coupled with his intellect, experience and better crossing. Sokratis+Mustafi in the first only works when a team is using a physically imposing attack but not too much pace, otherwise it would prove the WORST combination.

  17. Simon Williams says:

    Ozil is FAR from guaranteed. If Ramsey stays – think he only one guaranteed.

    And I’d put Mkhitaryan next.

  18. JADON SPIRIT says:

    Leno, Bel, Sokratis, Mavrapanos, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Mikhy, Ozil, Perez, Auba.

  19. LENOhappy says:

    @Diana still trying to figure out your write up

  20. Jamieeeeeeee says:

    Anybody else think bellerin could play as a right winger and learn from leichsteiner at the same time ? Solves two problems I think

    1. jon fox says:

      I will tell you WHERE I want Bellerin to play; at a different club! Bellerin is a weed, is physically weedy, usually outmuscled, has no awareness of when he should be properly defending instead of left upfield. He cannot properly mark opponents, is beaten in the air nearly always and crosses the ball accurately, when attacking, only very rarely. All he has is speed. Nothing else at all of value. I would sell him this week if I were able to make decisions.

  21. Sydney says:

    Unai prefer a 4 2 3 1, he was forced to use 4 3 3 at PSG to accommodate Neymar, Kylian and Cabana, therefore with his preferred 4 2 3 1, I see Torreira/Xhaka partnership with Ramsay coming in as a sub if he stays, Mik right wing, Ozil no. 10 and Auba no. 9. I don’t know about the left wing as both
    Welbeck and Iwobi are not equal to the task. I don’t as well see Auba and Laca playing together or playing Auba in the wing to accommodate Lava.

  22. Maigari33 says:

    One thing I noticed is that: Emery addressed areas we’ve been poor except for natural wingers. This means he is most likely to boycott any formation demanding good wingers. My guesses are a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-2 diamond formation:
    Bellerin Sokrstis mustafi/Mav Monreal/sead
    Torreira xhaka/Ramsey/Mo
    Mkhi. Ozil. Perez/welbeck

    4-4-2 (diamond)
    Stephen sokratis mustafi/chambers monrel
    Ramsey. Mkhi
    Auba. Laca/welbeck

  23. Trent says:

    Ozil, Mikhitaryan and Torreria.Rambo and Xhaka can hustle the fourth spot if we be playing 4 in midfield.

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