Arsenal: Arteta tells Lacazette to focus on pitch
Arsenal are reportedly targeting Emiliano Buendia now that the January transfer window is open. Mikel Arteta has found a winning formula for the Gunners’ last three games – and he will have to find a way to fit another attacking talent into his team if he lands Norwich star Buendia.
Buendia impressed in the Premier League last season despite the Canaries being relegated.
And the 24-year-old has continued in the same vein this term, with seven goals and seven assists so far for the Championship leaders.
His productivity, technical quality and ability to create chances appears to have enchanted the Arsenal hierarchy, with reports claiming the Gunners are sizing up a player-plus-cash offer.
Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson are the two players Arsenal are reportedly willing to offload as part of a deal to land Buendia.
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According to CBS Sports, Buendia has decided that he is prepared to try and force through a move to Arsenal.
But where would he fit into Arsenal’s team?
Buendia has mostly played on the right wing for Norwich this season – but as good as he is, he is unlikely to dislodge Bukayo Saka from that position at Arsenal.
Saka has excelled on the right of the Gunners’ attack in recent weeks, so Arteta would have to find another way to fit Buendia into his front line.
Luckily for the Argentina under-20 international he can turn his talents to playing on the opposite flank, or as a No10.
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With Arteta already having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli at his disposal on the left flank, it would appear that just behind the striker is the most likely role for Buendia.
Emile Smith Rowe has impressed in the position of late, but the arrival of Buendia could help the 20-year-old develop without having to bear all the pressure of succeeding Mesut Ozil in the playmaker role.
So, a fully fit Arsenal team could line up with Bernd Leno in goal, Gabriel and Pablo Mari at centre-back, with the in-form Kieran Tierney at left-back.
Right-back Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move away in the transfer window, so Ainsley Maitland-Niles could get more action at right-back.
In front of the defence would be Granit Xhaka and summer signing Thomas Partey.
With Saka on the right and Buendia as a number 10, Arsenal would have a range of options up front and on the left.
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Lacazette and Aubameyang would be the experienced option – with Eddie Nketiah, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe providing more youthful options and plenty of promise for the future.
Possible Arsenal team including Buendia: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mari, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Buendia, Martinelli; Lacazette.
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