MX23RW : Tuesday, August 18 08:10:04| >> :60:2593:2593:

How Arsenal could line up with Philippe Coutinho

Sports Mole looks at how Arsenal could line up next season if they are able to sign Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

On a day when Arsenal have completed the signing of Willian, speculation persists regarding a deal for his Brazilian compatriot Philippe Coutinho.

While the playmaker has produced solid numbers during a loan spell at Bayern Munich, the German champions have no desire to retain his services on a permanent basis.

Agent Kia Joorabchian has suggested that the former Liverpool man is keen on a return to the Premier League, comments which have led to increased talk about a potential switch to the Emirates Stadium.

With Joorabchian having a strong working relationship with key figures behind the scenes, the Gunners are expected to try to negotiate a loan agreement with Barcelona.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how the 28-year-old could line up in Mikel Arteta's first XI.

ARSXI with Coutinho.

Although Coutinho is generally more effective as a number 10, Arsenal's success with a back three may dictate that he is used out on the flanks.

Willian's arrival effectively means that he will become first choice on the right-hand side, leaving Coutinho to battle Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe on the opposite wing.

Arteta may jump at the opportunity to use Aubameyang down the middle, putting him a position where he would likely rotate between Coutinho and club-record signing Pepe.

With Kieran Tierney having impressed on the left-hand side of a back three, Bukayo Saka appears best suited to take over at left wing-back, unless Arteta can convince the Arsenal board to keep hold of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

However, to get all four attack-minded players on the pitch, there will be a willingness on Arteta's part to switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing Pepe to hold down a role on the left.

The Spaniard would then be in a position to use Coutinho as the most creative midfielder in a three alongside Granit Xhaka and potentially Thomas Partey, who continues to be linked with a move from Atletico Madrid.

As far as the back four is concerned, Tierney could switch to left-back, with William Saliba and David Luiz forming a partnership in the centre.

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Philippe Coutinho in Bundesliga action for Bayern Munich on February 29, 2020
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