Five ways Coutinho could fit into Arsenal team as Barcelona star emerges as transfer target after Aston Villa loan
ARSENAL are eyeing a summer move for Philippe Coutinho and the midfielder could allow Mikel Arteta a lot of options in midfield.
The Brazilian, 29, has resurrected his career at Aston Villa and proved he is still a top Premier League player since his January loan move.
But with Barcelona coping well without Coutinho, winning El Clasico 4-0 on Sunday, it is likely he would struggle to get back into Xavi's plans.
So Arsenal are reportedly readying a move in case the attacking midfielder becomes available.
Martin Odegaard is chief creator at the Gunners but Arteta would likely welcome more options.
It has been rumoured the Spaniard could follow Pep Guardiola's style by playing without a natural striker.
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In that circumstance Gabriel Martinelli could lead the line as a makeshift no.9, leaving a spot on the left flank for Coutinho.
It is a role he has had a lot of success in during his career – first at Liverpool and now at Villa with four goals and three assists in ten games.
In Arsenal's usual 4-2-3-1 shape Coutinho could join Odegaard and Bukayo Saka in an attacking midfield trio.
A 4-3-3 formation would operate in a similar fashion with Ruben Neves perhaps slotting in after being heavily linked with a move to The Emirates.
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If Arteta chooses to switch things up and deploy a back five Coutinho and Odegaard could operate just behind Alexandre Lacazette – with the returning William Saliba another option at centre-back.
A more attack-minded system is 4-2-2-2, which would allow Arteta to deploy two strikers in attack.
Even 4-3-2-1 could suit the Gunners but again this could rely on signing another central midfielder.
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