It’s been an interesting start to life at Arsenal for Unai Emery, that’s for sure. Handed the rough task of playing both Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two games, the Gunners have since picked up two wins on the trot heading into the international break.
Clearly, the idea that Arsenal would slide seamlessly into the Emery era after so long under Arsene Wenger was never a realistic one, though there have been some promising signs. Granted, there’s still the issues of the kind of defensive fragility to have undermined Le Prof but there have been moments of attacking brilliance.
Still, while we can wax lyrical about the budding partnership of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, it’s important Emery introduces a more resolute defensive structure soon. To that end, he did make a batch of summer signings presumably to try and toughen up his backline, though Gunners fans have had to wait to see them.
None of Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno or Stephan Lichtsteiner have featured all too often in Emery’s first few sides, despite the problems in defensive midfield, between the posts and in defence respectively. So, we recently asked our Arsenal supporting readers which of the three they’d like to see handed a starting berth after the international break.
Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Torreira (valued at £27m by Transfermarkt) came out on top. The Uruguayan has featured a few times from the bench and already looks a more suitable sitting option than Granit Xhaka, as well as someone who can find a killer pass to feed the vast array of attacking talent on offer.
Hopefully for Arsenal fans, Emery is listening.