All signs point towards Lucas Perez making his debut with Arsenal this Saturday when the team faces Southampton, and a lot of people are curious about how this addition will affect the lines for soccer, at least with regards to the Premier League.
It is difficult to tell how Wenger will use Perez on Saturday, though everyone agrees that his addition to the premier league is a great thing. Considering how fast the Spaniard can be, Wenger has a lot of options this season.
The chances are high that Perez and Olivier Giroud will alternate up front. Despite spending most of his career on the wing, Wenger has suggested that he might deploy Perez as a central striker.
Analysts think that Wenger has three primary options at this point when it comes to playing Lucas:
– Lone Striker
Everyone expects Giroud to be swapped out for Perez up front. That is the most likely scenario, primarily because of Lucas’ pace. Additionally, Perez can drive at the defenders outside the box, and that is what Wenger needs to make his team’s assault more dynamic.
Wenger will likely have Alexis Sanchez on one wing and Theo Walcot on the other (though Alex Iwobi is also a viable option). These three forwards can swap positions during the game, this making them less predictable.
Giroud could lose out because he doesn’t have the capacity to operate wide. Perez’s presence gives Wenger the chance to select a striker that fits his opponent in any given game.
Despite all that the new signings bring to the table, the fact that Wenger really likes Giroud hasn’t changed. As such, rather than swapping him out for Perez up front, Wenger could try and make room for both of them.
To achieve this, Wenger would have to throw Perez on the wing. Of course, he would be doing so at the expense of Walcott. But there is some benefit to letting him operate in a free-roaming role opposite Sanchez.
Wenger would be right to elevate Lucas to this position because he brings the same pace as Walcott; however, he is a better dribbler and a superior finisher. In comparing the two, Perez would make better use of Mesut Ozil’s passes.
By placing Perez on the Wing, Wenger would be able to keep playing Giroud up front. Admittedly, this approach would damn Walcott (and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) to more time on the bench.
-Two up Front
What if Wenger decided to place two strikers up front? Fans were happy with the way Giroud and Antoine Griezmann linked up at Euro 2016. Wenger can afford to change systems in order to get the most out of players like Lucas and Giroud.
In this scenario, Lucas would place Griezmann’s role. He has the ability to play off Giroud’s strengths and vice versa. Such a partnership would bring so many benefits to the table.
Of course, the chances of Wenger dropping the 4-2-3-1 formation are extremely low. He is a creature of habit and he trusts the prevailing system. The option will certainly tempt him. Many fans will relish the opportunity to see Arsenal experimenting in such a manner.