Arsenal are considering using Nicolas Pepe as part of an exchange deal to sign Dejan Kulusevski.
The Sweden international still has around four years remaining on his contract at Juventus, but he is now being strongly linked with an exit from Turin, with the Gunners said to be interested in his services.
Kulusevski can play on either wing, but predominantly plays on the right, which could be a problem for Arteta should he sign, given the form of Bukayo Saka on that side.
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However, Arteta can easily use Saka on the left-wing, and vice-versa, with Kulusevski able to be used on the right. With this being said, football.london takes a close look at how Arsenal may line up if Kulusevski is indeed signed.
One image consists of Saka on the left and Kulusevski on the right, and the other swaps the two around. There is also a discussion to be had on whether Albert Sambi Lokonga will keep his place in the Gunners XI when Granit Xhaka returns from his injury later in the season.
Lacazette looks set to leave Arsenal upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the season. Smith Rowe can then be moved into the centre of the pitch, in the ‘number 10’ role, while Martin Odegaard remains an option for that position, too.
Regardless of who plays around him, Kulusevski could be a shrewd piece of business from Arsenal. The Sweden international is still only 21 and remains one of the biggest prospects in European football – so much so, that he has been compared to Netherlands legend Arjen Robben in the past.
Sweden manager Janne Andersson, when speaking about Kulusevski in 2019, said to La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Fot Mob: “Considering his pace, his ball control and his finishing, I see him as similar to Robben.
“Dejan hasn’t been with us for long, but has already shown he has great potential. He works hard and is very quick. If he continues like this, he will be in the Sweden squad for many years to come.
“A coach always appreciates a player who can take on multiple roles and it’ll be very interesting to see his tactical evolution. As things stand now, I think he’s perfect as a winger.
“Kulusevski really lives for football and puts the work in. If I need to find a reason for his rapid ascent, that would be it. He’s still young, but I hope he is ready for Juventus.
“As a national team coach, you always want your players in the top teams and I think he can really grow in Juve’s current system. Italian football is an excellent place to learn about football in all its forms. In Sweden, we do learn about tactics quite young and that helps provide the foundations.”
If Kulusevski is signed, then it is likely to cause some selection headaches for Arteta, but over the course of the season, especially if Arsenal return to European football next term, the Swede will be used regularly.