The rumor mill has been filled with talk of the Arsenal manager, Unai Emery looking to copy the path taken by Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp to bring success to The Emirates.
Emery is a respected coach who has worked with some of the world’s top players at Paris Saint Germain but he is now looking to invest in the Arsenal FC academy now being headed by Per Mertesacker with 20-year-old Joe Willock signing a long-term contract after breaking into the first team.
One of the complaints of the end of the Arsene Wenger era was a lack of faith shown in homegrown younger players, but the same charge cannot be leveled at Emery. Willock has made an impressive start to the English Premier League season alongside Real Madrid loan signing Dani Ceballos who has already become a key member of the team. Most players arriving from Spain are expected to take a little time to adjust to life in the Premier League with the Spanish international not expecting to become such a key member of the squad in such a short period of time.
Over the last few years, Arsenal has become reliant on Mezut Ozil for assists and touches in the Premier League with the latest generation of midfielders trying to ease the burden on the German. Emery has been quick to hide both his midfielders at times this season with the pressure of a first Premier League season difficult for both Joe Willock and Ceballos as the pair make their way in their young careers. Ceballos is already beloved by fans at Arsenal FC with the success possible from a new-look midfield shorn of Aaron Ramsay as Emery looks for a new way of pushing Arsenal back into the top four.
Willock and Ceballos have given the Emirates a boost with their entertaining play in midfield but questions are still being asked of the Spanish coach because of his decision to drop Ceballos to the bench for the North London derby. The arrival of fellow summer arrival Nicolas Pepe has given the club a new dimension in the English Premier League but there are other problems to face for Unai Emery as he seeks to copy the blueprint Liverpool laid out to challenge Manchester City for the league title.
The main concern is not with the midfield but over the strike force with Alexandre Lacazette possible being the odd man out at The Emirates. There is no doubt Unai Emery is looking to play a 4-3-3 similar to that used by Liverpool but the French international striker is the one who is so far struggling to fit into the new system.
If Emery is expecting Lacazette to fill the role working to make space for the other two forwards he may struggle to use the striker in this role as he is an out and out striker looking for goals at all ties. Where Roberto Firmino is willing to sacrifice his own personal glory for Liverpool’s cause, Lacazette is used to playing a different role at Arsenal FC where he has struck up a strong partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.