Arsenal have made 8 signings before the opening day of the 2018-19 season and their new coach Unai Emery has made his vision evident, i.e., challenging for domestic and European glory.

Unai Emery Arsenal
Unai Emery looks sharp as he poses with the Arsenal logo

The Spaniard, with his prior experience at Sevilla (where he won 3 consecutive Europa League titles) and Paris Saint Germain brings plenty of top-level experience for a club which needed a massive re-haul.

Emery hasn’t wasted a single second in initiating the re-haul by signing players which were needed in their respective positions to strengthen the core of the first team.

Let’s take a look at the new signings and how they could line up this season for Arsenal:

Emery has signed 8 players so far, with the 4 most prominent ones being Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Stephan Lichsteiner, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno.

The 4 new signings will now be accompanying the existing top-heavy squad featuring the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mezut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette.

The primary reason why the new signings are a pleasant surprise is because unlike Arsenal’s ex-coach Arsene Wenger, Emery has selectively picked his players where they are needed and has worked on bolstering a shambolic defensive unit.

Furthermore, he has provided depth to the midfield and chosen a strong goalkeeper to accompany his attacking lineup, with Bernd Leno almost sure to replace Petr Cech in goal and Lucas Torreira providing a defensive and deep-lying midfield option.

The Predicted Formation(s):

Emery can let his imagination run wild with the squad at his disposal and much has been discussed about his formation at Arsenal, but he should stick to his strengths for now.

He can choose to deploy a 4-2-3-1 and if he wishes to play with 2 strikers up top, he can go a little crafty and play a 4-4-2 with Lacazette and Aubameyang in the lineup at the expense of Mesut Özil and using wide players like Mkhitaryan to their best of abilities.

The fact that he has sold Jack Wilshere for “technical and tactical” reasons as he stated has led to a further belief that Emery intends to have a direct footballing style, while using holding midfielders and a capable no. 10 (central attacking midfielder) to create a balance.

Arsenal moving towards a better future? Hopefully so

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Adding to that, Aubameyang (after Arsenal’s pre-season victory against Boreham Wood) stated that the coach has had the team training with a high-pressing style, which indicates that Arsenal may not be playing a lot of defensive football and would be willing to capitalize their opportunities on counter attacks.

With some time in the transfer window still to go (as it closes on 31st August, 2018), Emery will be most likely looking forward to bringing in one of his favorite players to the club, in the name of Ever Banega and further making the midfield unit more stable by adding Steven N’Zonzi.

Defensive stability will most likely be entrusted with Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Lichsteiner. With a move made for Konstantinos Movrapanos in the winter transfer window, the Arsenal coach is thinking ahead and building a better defensive unit.

Now, it’s up to the existing defensive players such as Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi to earn their place in the line-up.

Who To Play In Attack?:

Arsenal doesn’t have a shortage of attackers, with Aubameyang being the first choice striker and Mkhitaryan providing creativity from the wings.

It remains to be seen how Emery will deploy promising prospect Alexandre Lacazette to pair with the Gabonese for providing an ever-present goal threat.

Mezut Ozil has shown signs of his world-class ability but under a system where high pressing and hard-working regimes are a way of life on the pitch, it still is a speculation if the German will be a favorite in the Emery lineup, as various reports have stated Emery’s interest in Ever Banega, who was one of his key players during his reign at Sevilla as a 3-time Europa League winner.

All in all, a strengthened defensive unit, a rejuvenated midfield (don’t forget that Arsenal still have Aaron Ramsey to be deployed) and a pacy attack with a dynamic formation are extremely positive signs for a club who has been craving a system with tactical stability and a coach who is willing to take charge and make the players work hard for glory.

Can Arsenal perform well this season and challenge for the title? We’ll find out soon as the 2018-19 Premier League season starts from August 12.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Mirror,, TalkSport + more

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