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Arsene Wenger splashed the cash this summer on 23 year old Granit Xhaka, the fee is reportedly over £30m which is a vast amount for a deep lying midfielder, especially given the fact that Arsene Wenger is the one spending the cash. You can't imagine that Arsene Wenger is the type of guy to be spending all his spare cash on online casinos now can you?

Clearly last season there was an issue in that position when the North London side lost the talented Santi Cazorla and it was soon made clear that his compatriot Mikel Arteta was not able to contribute due to injury.

Arsenal fans had been worrying about the consequences of an injury to Francis Coquelin but little did they know that it would be an injury to the man next to him that would cause the most damage.

Partnerships between Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey did not work and even when Francis Coquelin returned he could not forge a successful combination with Aaron Ramsey in the middle of the pitch as neither are players who can begin attacks and find passes in between the lines.

It was only when new mid season signing Mohammed Elneny arrived that our form picked up and it is no coincidence that the Egyptian midfield shares some of the qualities that was previously provided by both Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.

Arsene Wenger tried playing Elneny as the deepest midfielder a few times towards the end of the season but said a number of times that he saw the hard working former Basel player as more of a box to box player rather than the classical defensive midfielder.

So with Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky departing on top of the obvious midfield issues last season, Arsene Wenger invested heavily in a player who can start attacks yet provide the defensive stability that the defenders behind him will need.

It will be interesting to see who Arsene selects as Xhaka's first choice partner. There are a number of options available to the manager. Aaron Ramsey who has been one of the standout players in a central midfield position during the European Championships for Wales. He has made it clear that the central midfield position is where he sees his future, perhaps the deployment of a natural deep midfielder will allow the Welshman to flourish.

Santi Cazorla is one of Arsenal's best players, the two footed Spaniard provides the team with exceptional technical qualities and as explained above, his absence was a big reason why Arsenal did not compete for the league title last season but given his age and new boy Xhaka providing some of what Santi gave the team I wonder if our little Spanish magician will no longer be first choice.

Jack Wilshere has always been one of Arsene's favourites, injuries have consistently robbed the dribbling Englishman of minutes on the pitch but if he can stay fit, I wonder if Xhaka can turn into just the player Wilshere needs to finally fulfil his potential.

I expect those three players to be top of the list but new boy Mohammed Elneny has impressed since joining the club, his distribution and running power gives Arsene some great options in certain games, especially away from home where we may have less of the ball or against more difficult opponents.

Francis Coquelin is probably the player most in danger of losing game time as he has been directly replaced by Granit Xhaka. The Frenchman's stock has fallen since his rise into the first team. Perhaps he could forge one hell of a tough partnership alongside the new boy in the difficult clashes in the Premier League and Champions League but I'm not sure Arsene will opt for that given our other midfield options.

It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more