Defenders Kieran Gibbs and Héctor Bellerín could be called upon to fill in the Arsenal midfield.
That’s according to the Telegraph, and it makes some sense. Arsenal are without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere so are very much down to the bare bones when it comes to wide options.
Gibbs played left-midfield at the end of last weekend’s win over Everton, and it’s his only route into the team with Nacho Monreal at left-back constantly.
Gibbs would be able to provide good support for Monreal and has the pace (if not the delivery) to threaten teams on the break.
Using Bellerín wide seems to add the same things, but it isn’t such a good idea. His attacking prowess from right-back is rooted in his ability to see plenty of the game ahead of him, receive the ball with the game ahead of him, and to burst into pockets of space as they appear. They only appear thanks to the movements of the player on the right flank, helping Bellerín burst into spaces inside and outside incredibly well.
His attacking ability isn’t down to pure speed, but the intelligence and timing of his runs when he can see more of the game. Play him in midfield and you lose that.
Arsenal would be better served by using a central midfielder wide if they are to keep Alexis on the left, but it would make much more sense to play the Chilean ahead of Bellerín and select Gibbs on the other side.