NEITHER Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nor Alexandre Lacazette are a perfect fit up front in Mikel Arteta's system – but Romelu Lukaku would be.
Arsenal put in another limp display as they failed to find the net in a 1-0 loss against Aston Villa last weekend.
This season, Arteta has tried out a number of different systems, including 4-3-3 and 3-4-3, before seemingly settling on 4-2-3-1.
The problem with that is, neither Aubameyang nor Lacazette suit that style as the lone central striker.
Given that they're two of the three highest-paid players at the club – one of which is captain and has just signed a lucrative new deal – this is a real cause for concern.
Lacazette is being preferred for now, mainly because his link-up play with the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka is exemplary at times.
But the Frenchman lacks the killer instinct and desire to be on the end of this clever build-up play.
He continually fails to take up the correct position, unable to get into space for the pull-back or get across the first defender – meaning all his good work is undone.
Aubameyang is the the polar opposite of Lacazette, only coming alive close to the opposition goal.
But because he offers so little desire to be involved in the early stages of the build-up the 4-2-3-1 requires, his chances of doing what he does best – scoring – are diminished.
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Perhaps the counter-attacking style deployed in the 3-4-3, with him on the left spoiled Aubameyang, with the whole team set up to get the ball to him in space on the left
What is frustrating is that Aubamayang definitely has the ability to play the role required but has failed to do so.
Adding to Arteta's problem is third-choice central striker, Eddie Nketiah.
The English striker has the willingness to lead the line but simply does not have the skill for it.
Out of the blue, Nicolas Pepe is showing us he will offer far more to the team playing on the left than Aubameyang.
The Arsenal skipper needs to do some swift soul searching. Does he want to lead the line in the 4-2-3-1 or play from the left?
He needs to buck up his ideas and apply himself or he, like the previous highest-paid player at the club – Mesut Ozil – might find himself almost unthinkably out of favour.
I think many fans, myself included, wonder whether Gabriel Martinelli might be the future in the role while others are screaming for Folarin Balogun.
Time will tell on both but, for the Brazilian speedster to shine centrally, the system might need to be tweaked.
I see him more as a wide forward such as Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah – with Arteta perhaps forced to revert to a 4-3-3 for him to shine.
With Saka and now Smith-Rowe shining – and with the addition of Odegaard – I do not see that happening soon.
Arsenal fans now find themselves in the the strange reality of needing an Olivier Giroud-type player… plus a dash of pace!
Arteta needs a player with strong finishing ability, as well as the skill to hold the ball up bring his fellow attackers into the game.
The gap in Giroud’s armoury was his lack of pace. Elite speed gives teams the option to fire a long ball ball over the top – a strong part of Thomas Partey's game.
Pace was the difference between Giroud being the 10-15 goals per season player he was and being a 25-goal-a-year superstar.
Ultimately, if Arteta want to persist with the 4-2-3-1, he will have to trade move Lacazette on and bring in an upgrade – someone taller, more tenacious and much quicker.
I reckon Arsenal will make a move for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, who is someone Arteta admires.
Aged 23, the Frenchman is the perfect age to blend into a young, evolving squad and has all the attributes required to play as the sole central striker.
An outside bet to consider, though is resurgent Inter Milan star Lukaku.
The ex-Manchester United, Chelsea, West Brom and Everton star knows the Premier League very well and at 27 is approaching his peak years at a striker.
His skillset would be perfect at Arsenal… if they can get him.
*Follow Dave Seager on Twitter…
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