Arsenal is short on midfielders because of injuries, but there is one player who hasn’t been talked about for a starting spot yet.
Arsenal had to deal with more changes this summer, and more than £100 million was spent to try to improve the quality and depth of Mikel Arteta’s team. Last season, the Gunners lost fourth place to rivals Tottenham because they didn’t have a center-forward player and didn’t have enough players to cover the whole field.
Even though five players joined the team, a lot of others left, which may have left the team with the same number of players as before. Last season, Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey were the only options to play in the middle of the field, which was a problem.
The first one stays mostly healthy, but the second one has trouble staying healthy and will miss more time for Arsenal. It’s hard for anyone else in the team to do what Partey does as a six. Only Mohamed Elneny has the skills off the ball to fill his role.
The Egyptian international proved this at the end of last season, but he has a long-term injury, so the focus on the last day of the transfer window was on getting a new midfielder. Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa was not signed, and Arteta was criticized for not signing a midfielder earlier in the season.
At this point, there’s not much point in wondering what could have been, and the Spaniard has to work with what he has to try to get the best out of the team.
In recent games, Sambi Lokonga has been picked to play as the deeper midfielder. However, it was clear that he was struggling during the loss to Manchester United at the weekend.
So, if Arteta looks elsewhere in his team for someone to fill that role, he might find a name that surprises him. That is one way to play Ben White in the middle of the field.
The England player has started every game this season at right back, but now that Takehiro Tomiyasu is healthy again, he could play somewhere else. White had been a No. 6 for both Leeds and Brighton, which showed that he was more than able to do so.
His defensive skills and ability to read the game mean that he could cover the threat of the other team. However, his technical skills in passing and carrying the ball could also be important. After a busy few weeks, the 24-year-old may need to rest on Thursday against FC Zurich. However, it could also be a good time to test the young star.