Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern haven’t stopped talking about Arsene Wenger’s tactical switch against Middlesbrough on Monday night.
Down on their luck and in need of a win, the Gunners gaffer finally buckled under the pressure of calls for change and lined up his side in the 3-4-3 setup that has taken the Premier League by storm this season, starting with Antonio Conte’s introduction of the formation at Chelsea in September.
The change in systems has transformed Chelsea back into the Premier League’s most dominant force and according to Mirror Football, Arsenal have now joined the race to sign Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk as Wenger prepares to utilise the new formation long-term.
Van Dijk has predominately lined up in a back four during his time in England but featured in a back three for Celtic and has the natural requisites to excel in that set-up – offering a quick turn of pace and the ability to play out of the back in addition to natural height, power and defensive nous.
Chelsea are in pole position to sign the Dutchman but now face competition from the Gunners, as well as Premier League rivals Everton and Liverpool. Any deal for van Dijk is expected to be worth £50million – which would constitute a new club-record transfer fee for the north London club.
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