Houssem Aouar’s best role is revealed and could force Arsenal to make a U-turn over a £12.6million transfer

Arsenal’s hot pursuit of a central midfielder in the summer transfer window has led to links with several candidates including Frenkie de Jong and Houssem Aouar.

While bringing in a new striker amid interest in Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is a top priority for the Gunners, as well as securing an £18m deal for Bologna full-back Aaron Hickey to join Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu Covering next season is the Gunners’ top priority, as is strengthening mid-park so Mikel Arteta can complete an 18-month mission.

Back in December 2020, the Arsenal manager revealed that his long-term plan was to move to a 4-3-3 formation, having favored a 4-2-3-1 formation earlier in his tenure: “We want to switch to a 4-3-3,” he said. “But for that you need a lot of specificity in each position, but now in five or six positions we don’t have it.”

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This changed during the 2021/22 season. Arsenal’s most consistent form since Arteta took charge was during the festive period and coincided with a subtle change of formation with Thomas Partey acting at the base of a midfield trio and Martin Odegaard smashing in perfectly as the right-sided No.8 he was able to combine effectively with Bukayo Saka.

Although popular belief is that there is still one position up for grabs – namely on the left side of midfield three, where Granit Xhaka has at times impressed in his favor, but the reality is the Swiss midfielder isn’t quite as a long-term solution considered for the role.

Hence, as reported by football.london, Arsenal’s favorite midfield target is Youri Tielemans and there is talk of a £25m move to the Emirates Stadium this summer. However, it has also been reported that the north London team are leading the race to sign Aouar, who has stalled on a new contract with Lyon.

If the Gunners end up buying the 23-year-old for 12.6m Arteta’s first-team squad ahead of the 2022-23 season.

However, if Lyon manager Peter Bosz’s claim that Aouar’s best position is number 10 when speaking about his preference for Lucas Paqueta is taken into account by Arteta, he may need to return to a 4-2-3-1 formation to accommodate the Frenchman in his Arsenal side or make a U-turn and opt against a deal.

“It’s definitely his best position,” Bosz said of Paqueta, according to Ligue1.com. “He has all the qualities to play in attack, good in front of goal, good at holding the ball up and also his mental state. If he’s in form he can carry us. Houssem’s best position is number 10, I see that. Everyone wants to play and it’s up to them to prove they can. It’s subjective and those are my choices.”

Of course, Aouar’s versatility and ability to “change a game when he plays down the middle” would allow Arteta to continue with the 4-3-3 system when he arrives in north London this summer, given that he is considered a No. 1 can be used. 8 on the left next to Ödegaard and before Partey.

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