Mikel Arteta is facing a selection dilemma ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace next Monday.
As the Spaniard waits to discover which of his contingent have returned from international duty unscathed, one player he will certainly be without for the London derby is Granit Xhaka.
The midfielder suffered a knee injury in the win over Tottenham Hotspur and is set to be out of action for the next three months, thus leaving Arteta with a major issue to solve.
ithout the Switzerland international, Arsenal’s midfield set-up has to be altered as they often line up with a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation when he’s available.
But during Xhaka’s other absence this season – because of a suspension – Arteta moved away from 4-2-3-1 and adopted his 4-3-3 system, with Thomas Partey alongside Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard.
And despite sticking with a 4-2-3-1 against Brighton before the international break, the experiment of Albert Sambi Lokonga alongside Partey in the engine room didn’t quite go to plan.