Last season, Arsenal regularly operated a 4-2-3-1 formation with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in the middle. The Swiss is likely to return to action in the Bundesliga next season, and Declan Rice could take the place left by Xhaka, playing alongside Partey in the midfield. Rice often plays in a two-man midfield at West Ham, he will easily adapt to the 4-2-3-1 system at the Emirates Stadium.
If Arsenal convince Xhaka to stay, he could play alongside Rice and Martin Odegaard in midfield. This possibility can happen because Thomas Partey is often injured. Rice will take over Partey’s role as a more defensive midfielder, ready to go deep and cover central defenders. This is the position he is most familiar with in both the club and England shirt.
Play as a defensive midfielder in a 3-1-4-2 . formation
Once Pep Guardiola’s assistant, Mikel Arteta can learn new things from the Spanish teacher. Pep switched the Citizens to a 3-2-4-1 formation last season – a landmark decision that won them the treble. If Arsenal did something similar, they could play 3-1-4-2. Rice will be the key player, he will operate against the trio of Gabriel, Ben White and Saliba, while Oleksandr Zinchenko can be pushed up the stone in midfield.