Ex-Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson says he wouldn’t be surprised if manager Unai Emery switches to a back three once both David Luiz and Kieran Tierney are ready to play.
The Gunners secured both players on deadline day last week, and Merson feels that to get the best out of them, his former club will need to change their formation:
“When you’re looking at them and you’re naming them players, I wouldn’t be surprised if he started going to a three at the back. Play them two and David Luiz in the middle of them.”
“He can come out and play, you’ve got Tierney playing as one wing-back. I think it suits all of the defenders. If you have three centre-halves playing there it gives all of them something to fall back on.”
It would be a sensible tactical tweak as Merson says. A 3-4-3 would likely fit the players Emery has at his disposal, with Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang playing as the front three.
Dani Ceballos would also be comfortable playing in central midfield, alongside a more defensive-minded player like Granit Xhaka or Lucas Torreira. It would, however, leave no room for a number 10 like Mesut Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Whether Emery will employ this formation, it remains to be seen. Earlier in the summer, it was suggested that the Spaniard will be sticking with a back four this season.