Starting XI for the start of the 2017/18 season

Starting XI for the start of the 2017/18 season

The Premier League is nearly back and Arsenal have already improved the squad with additions like Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette. Despite endless links to Thomas Lemar nothing seems to have come to fruition yet so he won't feature here. The current squad can win the league for sure, but it all depends on what Wenger and his coaches do on the training ground.

Keeper and Center Backs

Probably the most obvious place is that of Petr Cech. Despite making a few key mistakes last season he's still a Premier League legend and a top class keeper. He made more saves per 90 mins than De Gea and Coutouis and marshaled the Arsenal backline admirably making him my Team Captain. In the back three I've gone with Laurent Koscielny, Skodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac. Koscielny is one of the best centre backs in the league and Mustafi having, in my eyes, massively impressed with his athleticism and eye for a pass. They look impressive compared to £70 mil Virgil van Dijk and spud Toby Alderwiereld. Both make more tackles per 90 than van Dijk (1.5 and 2.2 respectively) with Mustafi having more than Toby. Both also make more interceptions than Toby and van Dijk (2.7 and 2.5 respectively). Whilst I love Holding and for the longest time I would have started him, Kolasinac has left an impression on me. An excellent display at left wing back made me think he would definitely help create the dominant and athletic back three in the Prem. He made more interceptions than Mustafi and Kolasinac (2.8 tackles, 3.2 interceptions) and with his aggression and a turn of pace he naturally would nullify any threat.

Wing Backs

Arguably the most exciting young wingbacks in world football, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left and Hector Bellerin on the right would destroy the competition. Both are among the most explosive players in world football and have impressive stats to boot. The Ox averaged more dribbles (2.1) and key passes (1.1) per 90 than City's new '52 million man' Mendy. Hector's experience as a right back shows in his defensive with him averaging more blocks (0.2), average more passes (42.2) per 90 and being dribbled past less (0.5) than Mendy and Victor Moses.
With the Ox on his last year on his contract it's important we give him a starting role at the club anywhere alongside Hector as our wingbacks for the next 10 years.

Midfield

In the center of the park I've gone with a 3 man midfield. At the base is Swiss Army Knife himself: Granit Xhaka. Granit has been accused of being poor defensively but actually averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.9 interceptions last year. Also, compared with known deep lying midfielders like Fernandinho, Kante and Busquets he contributed more goals and assists than all of them (4). Add in superior key passes (1.1), average passes (71.8), through balls (0.2) and long balls (5.7) this could become a breakout year for Granit. Ahead of him is creative genius Mesut Ozil and workhorse Aaron Ramsey whom both need to step up in order for us to challenge. Mesut needs to step up his defensive work rate since he, again in my eyes, works better as an Xavi-esque center midfielder with smaller attackers than as an attacking midfielder without a physical striker to target. He's also proving more of an all round attacking threat scoring more (8) and creating more key passes per 90 (3) than Manchester wonder boys De Bruyne and Pogba. Ramsey also (despite a poor season) had a greater pass success percentage (88.1) and was less dispossessed (1) and had less bad touches per 90 (1) than Kevin and Paul. Mesut needs to learn to stamp his presence on the match and Aaron needs to be consistent in his performances and fulfill his clear potential in his peak years.

Attackers

Finally, the most exciting part, our two strikers Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette. I do believe Alexis will be here at least for this season since Wenger and the Board have decided to run his contract down. His contributions will be needed to challenge too with the Chilean scoring 24 goals (3rd highest in the Prem) and 10 assists (5th highest in the Prem) last season. Our best player's greatest asset is his hardwork averaging 1.4 tackles per 90 as a striker, double that of Harry Kane. His all round play is also world class for a striker with higher numbers of average passes (43.3) , key passes (2.1) and dribbles (2.9) than Aguero and Kane per 90. Lacazette is no slouch up-front either scoring a mega high 28 Ligue 1 goals (37 goals in 45 matches all comps). Only Dzeko, Suarez, Kane, Lewandowski, Aubameyang, Cavani and Messi in the top 5 leagues scored more. He has good technical and creative ability creating more chances (1.7), more passes (28.2) and less bad controls (2.4) per 90 than Harry and Sergio too. These two world class forwards should lead the way towards the Premier League trophy and a champions league place, right we belong.

This is my starting XI for Leicester in a fortnight, what's yours?

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