The Arsenal trio making a case for a Premier League starting place
Such is the wealth of talent currently at Arsene Wenger’s disposal, there are some players that are struggling to get a look in when it comes to Premier League games. And with Arsenal currently enjoying a 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions, it’s hard to justify altering the starting line-up too much.
But there are three names we think could and perhaps should be considered by Wenger in the coming weeks to mix things up a little.
Granted, the trio of stars we’ve picked out have all featured consistently at some point over the last 18 months, but between them they boast just 26 starts in the top-flight since the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign.
It’s been a strange old career up to this point for the 27-year-old.
Once tipped to be the next Ashley Cole, Gibbs’ progression came to a halt in 2013 when the Gunners signed Nacho Monreal from Malaga.
Since then, the Spaniard has made the left-back position his own, meaning Gibbs has featured mainly in domestic cup competitions.
But if there’s one area of the pitch which has been exploited during Arsenal’s fine run of form of late, it’s the left hand flank.Opposing teams are beginning to take advantage of Monreal’s pace, or rather lack of, and it’s only a matter of time before the Gunners’ back-line pays for it.
However, pace is an attribute which Gibbs certainly possesses, and it may well be worth giving him a run in the first-team so as to counter that particular threat.
Wenger clearly still has faith in the Arsenal youth product, and his decision to make him captain in the Gunners’ EFL Cup victory over Reading certainly emphasises that.
Another name on the fringes of the first-team, Mohamed Elneny has certainly impressed Gooners since arriving from FC Basel back in January.
But, rather surprisingly, the Egyptian only has 11 Premier League starts to his name.
Though he may not be the attack-minded playmaker that Arsenal fans want in the middle of the park alongside Francis Coquelin, his energy in the engine room has been crucial for the north London outfit and arguably can’t be matched by any other squad member.
Given that Granit Xhaka is still suspended, while Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla are yet to return from their respective injuries, perhaps now is the time for Elneny to stake a claim for a permanent spot in Wenger’s starting XI.
The Ox’s impressive performances have been somewhat overshadowed by his compatriot Theo Walcott’s equally explosive start this season.
But the stats are proving that this is already shaping up to be the 23-year-old’s best ever campaign in an Arsenal shirt, having already surpassed his goal tally from last year in all competitions.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s main problem in recent seasons has been his frustrating lack of consistency, but he’s now reaching a stage in his career where he should start producing on a regular basis.
He completely stole the show this week against Reading, netting his first brace in two years.
Alex Iwobi has leapfrogged the former Southampton man in Wenger’s first-team plans, but the Nigeria international is yet to add goals to his game, something which his teammate is now starting to do.
Up next for Arsenal is a trip to bottom side Sunderland, where they’re 2/5 to bring all three points back to London.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing