Arsenal fans fell in love with Bukayo Saka during his first full campaign in the first team last season. The academy graduate, who only turned 19 earlier this month, made 38 appearances in all competitions under Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and current head coach Mikel Arteta. But Arteta now has a conundrum over where to play the talented teenager following the signing of centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.
Saka has already impressed in a number of different positions in his short professional career.
Primarily a winger, he has been used as left wing-back on numerous occasions in a 3-4-3 formation.
At times he has even played as a genuine left-back when Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac were absent through injury.
But the signing of Gabriel leads to question marks over Saka’s position in the side for the upcoming campaign.
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Gabriel, who joined for an initial £22million from Lille, is a left-footed central defender and is likely to play on that side of a back three.
That would mean Tierney, who played that role with some effect last season, will switch to left wing-back more often than not.
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Saka would therefore have to fight for a spot further forward and the reward of the No 7 shirt suggests Arteta sees it that way too.
However, finding a position for the England under-21 international may prove difficult.
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Club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is set to sign a new three-year contract to end speculation over his future, has played the large majority of games under Arteta on the left of the front three.
Arteta does not see Aubameyang as a central striker in his system, with that honour given to either Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah.
Saka is unlikely to unseat Aubameyang from the left so will have to compete for a spot on the opposite flank.
But again there will be more fierce competition standing in his way.
Firstly, the club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, who started to show fans why he cost £72m towards the end of his debut campaign in England.
And then there is the small matter of another new signing in Willian.
The 32-year-old has got the three-year contract he wanted but is not coming to the Emirates to sit on the bench.
It is an embarrassment of riches in some ways for Arteta but Saka has a challenge on his hands to force his way into the starting XI after the arrival of Gabriel blocked off one position for him.
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