What is Arsenal’s best starting XI?

The Gunners have had a great start to the new season, but what is there ideal team to achieve success?

Arsenal have been the standout side in this season’s Premier League so far, with Arsene Wenger’s men looking set to put forward a title challenge for the first time in a number of years.

Despite the Frenchman’s squad not containing as many players as last season, there is still strength in depth, which makes it difficult for the coach to select his ideal starting XI.

If everyone was fit and available, here is what I contend Arsenal’s starting XI should look like in their usual 4-2-3-1 system.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny

LB – Kieran Gibbs

RB – Bacary Sagna

CB – Per Mertesacker

CB – Laurent Koscielny

CM – Aaron Ramsey

CM – Mathieu Flamini

LW – Theo Walcott

RW – Santi Cazorla

AM – Mesut Ozil

ST – Olivier Giroud

Although the selection is tough on the likes of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky, this XI has the best blend.

The goalkeeper, defence and striker pick themselves, mostly down to a lack of quality competition. Nacho Monreal could easily slip in at left-back, but Kieran Gibbs is thoroughly worthy of his place at the moment.

In midfield, Arsenal have a great number of options to choose from dependent on the opposition.

In Mathieu Flamini they have a designated enforcer that will sit in front of the back four and allow the others to get forward and influence the game. To get the best out of Aaron Ramsey, a defensive midfielder like Flamini is needed.

Theo Walcott has shown since returning from injury that his searing pace offers something that the north London side have been missing and the England star is a better option in a wide position than Wilshere or Rosicky.

Playing Ozil in a number ten role through the middle is likely to get the best out of the German playmaker, who has drifted in and out of games when he plays from wide.

Where do Arsenal need to strengthen?

With the team ethos and quality of the starting XI, there is no position that immediately needs to be addressed by Wenger in the January window.

The focus should be to bring in able deputies, especially a striker and centre-half, as the rest of the squad looks capable of fighting for honours.

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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