Arsenal boast a fluid team capable of shifting into numerous shapes under Mikel Arteta.
It has been one of the crowning jewels of the Spaniard’s short reign, that he has crafted a team full of top-quality talents who can play across various positions within his flawless system.
Few personify this more than Bukayo Saka, who has starred all across the front line, and yet at times has been deployed as a wingback for his national team.
It is a testament not just to his ability and versatility, but the desperation managers often have to ensure that the 21-year-old remains in their starting XI no matter the role.
Arsenal transfer news – Is Raphinha back on Arteta’s radar?
These interchangeable qualities could be put into action next season, should the rumours suggesting the Gunners’ interest in Raphinha prove to be true.
As one of the reported suitors of the Brazilian, Barcelona are seeking a fee of around £60m as they look to afford themselves enough room to potentially facilitate Lionel Messi’s return.
As another left-footed right winger, fitting both of these exciting wingers into one system could prove devastating during the new campaign, in which Arteta will want to take that next step and claim the Premier League title.
Can Arsenal play both Bukayo Saka and Raphinha in the same side?
Despite a slow start to life in Spain, the 26-year-old has since become ever-present for Xavi’s side who are currently leading LaLiga. With ten goals and 11 assists in all competitions, the wide man has even managed to surpass his impressive tally of 14 goal contributions from the season prior with Leeds United.
This experience in English football makes the deal an even more attractive proposition, as the trickster has proven his quality on a physically demanding stage. He will require no embedding period and likely would see those goalscoring figures rise further when surrounded by others at an elevated level.
His former teammate Dan James had suggested that Raphinha’s talents were above that of the rest of the Whites’ squad, as he claimed: “He’s a magician. He’s always been a great player.”
The Brazilian contingency already in north London could sway this move too, with Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli sure to encourage him to complete a Seleção front three.
Although Saka has 13 goals and 11 assists in the league this season from the right flank, his technical brilliance gives credence to the suggestion that he could easily thrive as an attacking asset as a no.10 or even another option on the left instead.
With him and Martin Odegaard creating from slightly deeper, almost akin to Bernardo Silva’s role at Manchester City, this additional firepower could prove to be the key factor in pushing them ever closer to that elusive silverware next season.