Arsenal

2 reasons why Mikel Arteta can copy Pep Guardiola trick to find the solution to his Arsenal midfield woes

Mikel Arteta’s men have registered a measly seven shots on target across  three matches, failing to score a single goal in the process.

It has been the Gunners’ worst start to a season since 1954 after losing all of their opening three Premier League fixtures against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Spaniard’s side have been plagued with a blend of a plethora of injuries, positive Covid-19 tests and now suspensions that leaves them severely short in midfield areas ahead of this weekend’s clash against newly-promoted Norwich City.

Ghanian international Thomas Partey has been out for over a month since suffering an injury in pre-season whilst energetic midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also a doubt for the clash against the Canaries, with the Egyptian FA confirming that the 29-year-old had sustained a muscle injury during a friendly against Brentford last week.

However, the solution to Arteta’s selection headache could be to play young talent Bukayo Saka in midfield instead.

The versatile starlet has regularly been deployed on the right-wing in recent months, producing consistent performances to earn him the Arsenal Player of the Year award last term.

Given club-record signing Nicolas Pepe is at his best on the right flank whilst Emile Smith Rowe has previously looked impressive when cutting in from the left side, then it makes sense to deploy Saka slightly deeper, a role that he has previously thrived in when called upon.

The role allowed Saka to combine down the left with full-back Kieran Tierney whilst also demonstrating his ability to drive at the opposition, something that resulted in the Gunners being much more press resistant.

Most importantly, by playing the 20-year-old in a deeper role Arsenal’s attacking quintet of Pepe, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe and club-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can all be on the pitch at the same time, which is desperately needed as they have lacked game-changers in recent times.