Heading into the 2023/24 Premier League season, Arsenal are in the strongest position they have been in for years. However, with a flux of incomings and outgoings, Mikel Arteta could have a selection headache on his hands.
Over the course of the ongoing summer transfer window, Arsenal have signed high-profile superstars such as Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz.
Due to this, Mikel Arteta may be forced into changing up his system. In this piece, we’ll look at the formation that Arsenal generally used last season – and how they could line up moving forward with their new acquisitions.
What formation did Arsenal play in 2022/23?
During Arsenal’s impressive 2022/23 Premier League campaign, the Gunners predominantly lined up using a 4-3-3 formation. They generally used a back four of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel, William Saliba and Ben White – meanwhile, the midfield usually comprised of Thomas Partey at the base, Granit Xhaka in the box-to-box role and Martin Odegaard pushing forwards.
Two of these midfielders, Xhaka and Partey have either left the club or are in the process of doing so. Due to this, it presents the opportunity for Arteta to shake up his system and prevent things from growing stale.
Which formations could they play ahead of the 2023/24 Premier League season?
One particular formation that springs to mind is 4-2-3-1. It is very similar to the 4-3-3 that Arsenal used last season – however, the attacking central midfield player will be pushed up into the number ten role.
Not only will this allow Kai Havertz to occupy his natural position, it could also give Declan Rice more license to move up the pitch. As we saw last season at West Ham, he looks comfortable in advanced positions.
Additionally, the Gunners could also adopt a 5-2-2-1 formation. With the acquisition of Jurrien Timber, who is best deployed on the right side of a back three, it would make a lot of sense.
Havertz arguably enjoyed his best period as a footballer under Thomas Tuchel in his own 5-2-2-1 setup. However, it would pose a question as to where Arsenal’s wingers – Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard – would fit into the lineup.