We are four games into the Premier League campaign and Arsenal have endured mixed fortunes so far. New Gunners boss Unai Emery’s team selections have been fairly consistent.
However, one player who has now featured as much as expected is new signing Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira. The youngster has yet to start a Premier League game so far this season.
Xhaka and Guendouzi started all four league games
Another summer signing youngster Matteo Guendouzi has started all four of the Gunners league games so far alongside Granit Xhaka. Many expected Xhaka and Torreira to form a partnership in the centre of the Gunners midfield. The pair have enjoyed mixed results
However, Guendouzi impressed in pre-season and has carried his impressive summer form into the start of the Premier League campaign.
While the 19-year-old Frenchman is still raw, he has shown enough promise to stay in the Gunners starting line-up. It would be harsh to drop the youngster in favour of Torreira. Xhaka is unlikely to be dropped from the starting line-up either, despite some questionable displays from the Swiss midfielder.
To play all three in one starting line-up, Emery would have to drop one of the attacking midfielders, so Aaron Ramsey, Henrik Mkhitaryan or Mesut Ozil missing out on starting line-ups.
Ozil and Mkhitaryan have already missed games this season, without the trio being named in an Arsenal starting line-up. However, using all three players would take something away from the Gunners as an attacking force. If Emery fielded the trio, it would also be regarded as a defensive move on the Spaniard’s part.
Emery now has a conundrum of what of Torreira sitting on the bench. I am sure at one point in the season that emery will decide to rest Guendouzi, which is when Torreira will get the chance to shine.
Are Arsenal midfield options good enough to finish top-four?
We have not seen enough of Torreira to say if he is a player capable of playing in a central midfield of a top-four team. At the moment I would say that Arsenal’s central midfielder is not good enough to finish in the Premier League top-four.
The Gunners odds of 9/4 to clinch a Champions League spot this season has changed very little from the summer. In terms of improvement from last season, there is not a massive one.
It looks like for now Xhaka and Guendouzi are the Gunners first choice central midfield. I hope that we will see more of Torreira after the international break as he looks like a player that could thrive in the English top-flight.
Who should start in the centre of midfielder for Arsenal?