How Coutinho's arrival at Arsenal could affect Pepe, Lacazette and Xhaka

Philippe Coutinho looks set to join Arsenal from Barcelona this summer. Dan Mountney takes a look at how the Brazilian's arrival could help Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka.

How Coutinho's arrival at Arsenal could affect Pepe, Lacazette and Xhaka

Philippe Coutinho could be on his way to Arsenal. CREDIT: OFFSIDE

Nicolas Pepe

With Mesut Ozil often left out last season, the burden of creativity was passed to Nicolas Pepe as he tried to adapt to the English game.

The club-record £72 million signing showed glimpses of his undoubted quality but was often left needing help as he single-handedly tried to supply the attack.

The arrival of Coutinho will add a central creative hub to Arsenal's forward play and certainly help ease that weight of responsibility on Pepe's shoulders which could help him thrive next season.

Alexandre Lacazette

Despite his hard-working and industrious displays, 2019/20 was far from a stellar season in front of goal for the Frenchman.

The Gunners often played without an attacking midfielder which saw Lacazette forced to drop into deeper positions to link play, taking him away from the areas that had made him so dangerous the previous season.

Coutinho's arrival should mean Lacazette can stay further forward and pose more of a goal threat, with the Brazilian providing the link between midfield and attack rather than him.

Granit Xhaka

Although the Swiss international formed a good partnership with Dani Ceballos towards the end of the season, their two-man midfield pairing meant they had to get through a lot of work going both forward and back.

When Xhaka did go forward, it often left a gaping hole behind him for opposition teams to exploit, but Coutinho's arrival could change all that.

The Brazilian would allow Mikel Arteta to return to his favoured 4-2-3-1 system, meaning Xhaka would not be forced to go forward as much, providing better shape and protection to the Gunners defensively.

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  1. itsRonagain2

    Aug 10, 2020, 13:47 #117038

    Speak to Liverpool fans and they will recall him as a bit of a wizard, clever and poised BUT, easily knocked off the ball and with questionable work rate when under the cosh. Does that description remind you of anybody already on the staff and on a big salary?