Arsenal

What Mikel Arteta’s dream Arsenal XI will look like if Edu completes £76m transfer

While there is still plenty to decide in the Premier League this season, plans are already being put in place at Arsenal ahead of the summer transfer window.

Ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, Mikel Arteta splashed over £140 million on new recruits including Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

With all four becoming pivotal members of his starting XI, fans can look forward to the summer knowing that they have a man in charge who knows what he is doing in the transfer window.

One of the latest names to be linked with a move to the Emirates is Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.

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With the forward’s poor form continuing against Manchester City on Saturday, speculation continues to mount that he could be on his way out of Old Trafford.

Anthony Elanga has recently leapfrogged the 24-year-old to lead the line under Ralph Rangnick and reports have suggested that Arsenal are among the sides now willing to offer him an escape route.

Valued at £76.5 million on Transfermarkt, it could prove to be one of Arteta’s most costly pieces of business yet – so how could Rashford fit into the Spaniard’s starting XI?

Despite bursting onto the scene as a centre-forward, Rashford has continuously been played on the left-wing, with Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now Rangnick all seeming to prefer him in that position.

But with Alexandre Lacazette appearing to be on his way out of the club this summer, Arteta will be on the hunt for somebody to fill that role.

Gabriel Martinelli is seen by many as a number nine, but the Brazilian has frequently found himself out on the left of the Arsenal attack, a position he has thrived in too.

Rashford himself has said in the past that he prefers to play on the left, which may trigger some reservations about bringing him in as the attack’s new figure point.

But as we have seen with Lacazette, the role of the front-man in Arteta’s set-up is frequently to keep attacks progressing and bring the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe or Gabriel Martinelli into play, and there is no doubting Rashford has the ability to play that role.

Arsenal’s potential line-up if Rashford moves to the Emirates: Aaron Ramsdale; Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey; Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka; Marcus Rashford.

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