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Emery’s secret plan: Changing one player’s position could transform Arsenal’s attack – opinion

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With Arsenal losing Aaron Ramsey for nothing and a reportedly measly transfer budget to replenish the rest of the squad, The Gunners’ best hope in filling the void of the departed Welshman could rest in Unai Emery having something special up his sleeve.

Solving the fallout from Ramsey’s transfer to Juventus from within is looking like the most probable outcome – given Arsenal’s priority at the moment is securing a transfer for winger Wilfried Zaha, according to Arsenal insider Charles Watts.

And there could be more than meets the eye in their pursuit of the Ivorian – which would logically put current left-wing incumbent Alex Iwobi’s first team place in danger – that could be a masterstroke that remodels Arsenal’s attack for the better.

Having Iwobi play centrally would not only vacate a space for the new winger that Arsenal are currently searching for, but would do without the need to replace Ramsey with expensive recruits.

Essentially, adding Zaha, Malcom or anyone else will provide two alterations for the price of one in the Arsenal attack.

Last season, Iwobi was Arsenal’s only out-and-out winger – and was utilised on the left regularly last season.

He arguably had a very positive season on a personal level, scoring six times – including a scorcher in the Europa League final, making an instant impact off the bench in Baku.

Meanwhile, his attacking prowess has often been shown for his country, as Nigeria often deploy him as an attacking midfielder or even as a centre forward – with the desired results.

Iwobi’s healthy run of form is continuing at the African Cup of Nations, scoring the winner in the Round of 16 tie against Cameroon whilst playing in a central role.

He also starred at the front of a Super Eagles attack that beat Argentina in November 2017 as he bagged himself a brace in a 4-2 victory.

And as the most prolific provider of goals and assists apart from Arsenal’s two main strikers last season, a switch to the centre of the field could add more firepower to a position which lacked the creative levels you may expect from playing behind the 50-goal strike partnership of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Add to that, the services of a pacey winger in the meantime, and Arsenal could see their attacking options far less limited than to the exploits of their usual suspects up top next season.

Whether Emery is alive to the opportunity in front of him remains to be seen, but there could yet a surprise candidate for Ramsey’s successor if the manager has the guts to take a chance on Iwobi.

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