Arsène Wenger has created a beautiful problem – he simply has too many good midfielders. Almost every one of them can play multiple positions, and have chemistry with one another.
Despite our embarrassment of riches in the middle of the park, it’s tough to justify rotation.
Jack Wilshere finding fitness and Tomas Rosicky being pouty further complicates the matter of fitting star man Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla into a side filled to the brim with some of the best attacking talent in Europe.
Every position has multiple players to fill it, and it’s this incredible amount of versatility that can hinder more than help a developing squad.
With experienced heads in Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, Wenger has a core of security which warms the bench; old legs need not over exert themselves.
But then comes the tricky part of using seven players under 30, all entering their primes, and Santi Cazorla, for five positions.
And then on top of that, you’ve got to play your most complete player, Aaron Ramsey. The problem, again, is versatility. Over the years, Ramsey has filled in at right back, centre back in brief minutes, centre midfield behind a number 10, actual number 10, and on the right flank.
I’m surprised he’s never donned the gloves just for a laugh. Ramsey seemingly infinite utility makes it feasible he squeaks into every starting lineup possible, regardless of position.
Couple Ramsey’s importance to the side with Francis Coquelin’s unbreakable face, and you’re left with a midfield trio completed by Mesut Ozil that’s tough to change.
Having said all that, what’s the point in looking at Morgan Schneiderlin – or any midfield maestro – without making our current players glance at the exit door? There simply is no room, and this is no bad thing.
Instead, Wenger should choose to look internally. Gedion Zelalem, Dan Crowley have made the provisional 27-man squad for Arsenal’s pre-season trip to Singapore, while notably January signing Krystian Bielik and Serge Gnabry have not.
Considering there are enough potential first-team midfielders already at the club to make a full eleven, it’s probably sensible that Wenger holds off buying another for a while. At the very least until the club finally sees the back of Flamini for good.