Thomas Lemar has been strongly linked with Arsenal over the last few weeks, but how would he fit in if he joined?
Playing primarily as a left-midfielder last season, Thomas Lemar scored 14 goals and got 17 assists in his 55 appearances last season. He also appeared for the French champions in more forward roles on the left and right. After Football.London looked at how Arsenal could accommodate Lemar in the current side, we thought we’d have a look ourselves.
Assuming that Arsenal stick with the 3-4-2-1, Lemar would probably be most comfortable in the left-forward position. Although he played left-midfield for Monaco, this doesn’t translate into the Arsenal formation as our left sided role is better suited to a more defensive player, such as new signing Kolašinac.
With Alexis Sanchez currently still occupying the left-forward role, and Alexandre Lacazette adding to the options up top, there isn’t much room for Lemar there.
If Alexis leaves, it would be another story, of course. But since Alexis is still here, the next step would be to look at the right-hand side. Again, there isn’t much room for him here, with Mesut Özil and Hector Bellerín the current starters.
Lemar could look to play more centrally. He has the attributes to succeed, but it’s not a position he has too much experience in. But barring this position change, perhaps a different formation would suit the Arsenal player better.
A return to 4-2-3-1 could provide the answer. With Lacazette up top and Özil in behind, Lemar could play left-forward with Alexis on the right, or vice-versa, since both have played on opposite flanks in the past. But would a return to a formation that was proving so ineffective last season be a wise move, even with better players?
Perhaps Arsenal could switch to a 4-4-2. Lacazette and Alexis would both get to play up top, Lemar could play out on the left, and Xhaka could play in the middle with Ramsey. The problem is that this leaves Özil on the right, or in a much deeper role than he’d like if he took Ramsey’s spot.
None of these options provide the perfect solution. Regardless, Thomas Lemar would bring a lot of talent and youth to the lineup, at only 21 years old. With Alexis and Özil’s contracts running out, one season of struggling to fit everyone in might be a good sacrifice to make to ensure that Arsenal don’t have the opposite problem the following year.