Last week Arsenal discovered their Premier League fixtures for the 2021/22 season as they face a stern start to the campaign.
The Gunners will play Brentford away from home on the opening day of the season before facing Chelsea at home and Manchester City away in a tough opening month.
Given Mikel Arteta’s disappointing first full season in charge of the North London club, in which Arsenal finished a despondent eighth in the Premier League, there will be hopes they can get transfer deals wrapped up early in the window to allow new arrivals time to settle before their difficult opening fixtures.
As reported by football.london last month , Technical director Edu is keen on bringing in up to five new fresh faces this summer, with two midfielders, two fullbacks and a goalkeeper all believed to be on the Brazilian’s radar this summer.
According to the Sun, Arsenal are ready to reignite their interest in Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar with the Gunners readying a £20million bid for the Frenchman.
The report claims that the club could offer a contract worth £100k-a-week to lure him to the Emirates this summer as Arteta looks to add a creative playmaker to their squad.
Should both Aouar and Lokonga complete a move to the Emirates Stadium, what would be Arsenal’s strongest starting line-up come the start of the season be?
Not taking into account any other potential new arrivals, German goalkeeper Bernd Leno would line-up in goal, with Arteta likely to deploy a 4-2-3-1 system.
With Hector Bellerin likely to leave, Calum Chambers would line-up at right-back, with William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney making up the back-four.
Ahead of the back-four, Thomas Partey would be joined in midfield by the potentially arriving Houssem Aouar, a pivot that has the perfect blend of technical ability, intelligent reading of the game and power in the centre of the pitch.
Ahead of the two deeper-midfielders, Nicolas Pepe would be on the right flank, joined by creative starlet Emile Smith-Rowe in the centre and Bukayo Saka on the left.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would lead the line as the Gabon frontman bids to get his Arsenal career back on track after a disappointing 2020/21 campaign in which he scored just 10 league goals.
If the Gunners are able to pull off a deal for Aouar they may solve their creative woes in the middle of the park and with the likes of Ben White and Andre Onana also linked with a move Arsenal could have a wealth of options at the back too.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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The likes of Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette and Folarin Balogun could also make an impact from the bench.
Dream Arsenal line-up following Houssem Aouar transfer: Leno; Chambers, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Aouar; Pepe, Maddison, Saka; Aubameyang.