Unai Has Shored Up Arsenal’s Defense – But The Secret To His Success Lies Up Front

Lucas Torreira

The latest incoming – Uruguayan dynamo Lucas Torreira

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papasthatopoulos and Lucas Torreira in; Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and surely a few more – David Ospina, Lucas Pérez, Carl Jenkinson and Joel Campbell – out.

While transfers still represent a big part of the talk surrounding the Arsenal, I would draw your attention to a couple of players who are already at the Club and – I believe – will be instrumental to our success, if used correctly: Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Although I understand the hype generated by the arrival of our four new signings and the tactical implications their integration brings, I believe that the firepower currently at Unai Emery’s disposal is truly underrated.

Aubameyang and Lacazette are a formidable strike pair

Aubameyang and Lacazette are a formidable strike pair

In Lacazette and Aubameyang we have two clinical finishers who have already shown they can and have a real willingness to work together, work for each other; beside the famous penalty given by Aubameyang to Lacazette, they have always combined very well while on the pitch together and constantly looked for each other, trying to make some room for each other’s runs instead of stepping on each other’s toes.

Needless to say, it’s really difficult to find strikers willing to complement each other hence we’d better make the most of what we have in our hands.

If my memory doesn’t fool me, it’s been TWELVE YEARS since we’ve last seen the Arsenal playing with two strikers upfront and we should be allowed the chance to see that again, finally. Any attempt to shift Aubameyang on the wing should be promptly rebuffed and the idea to play either one or the other should not even be taken into consideration, as these two could prove to be one of the best striking partnership in the recent history of English top-flight football.

Playing the trademark 4-2-3-1 system under Arsène Wenger has given us plenty of good memories, especially when Robin van Persie was leading our attacking line, but also deprived us of some talents who would have thrived in a two-men attacking line, such as Andrey Arshavin, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott.

International and club shirts from all around the world

Also, one might wonder how better Olivier Giroud and the whole team would have looked, had Arsène Wenger opted for a pair working closer together instead of a target men surrounded by playmakers.
When you see how well Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud are playing together, you surely wonder how beneficial a similar setup would have been for some of our former strikers.

Unai Emery now has two great strikers to work with and must find a way to play them together, no matter how much he has to drift from his preferred 4-2-3-1 system and his tactics; this Arsenal team has no wide men of any quality and looks to be screaming for any form of diamond 4-4-2, with Xhaka building from deep, Lucas Torreira providing balance with his tactical acumen and restless attitude, Aaron Ramsey surging from midfield and Mesut Özil roaming in the final third, looking to unlock any of our strikers.

Don't forget Mkhitaryan

Don’t forget Mkhitaryan

On top of that we do have Mhkitaryan and Iwobi to add the spark, Mo Elneny to cover any blade of grass if Torreira needs a breather and Danny Welbeck always available with his energetic and aggressive approach.

I’m more than happy with the way Unai Emery and Sven Mislintat are fixing some long-time issues in the defensive areas but this team is worth building from the front line, today more than ever.

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