Not that long ago, it was all doom and gloom at the Emirates Stadium.

No Champions League football. No more than £45m in the bank to sign new players. Shkodran Mustafi still at the club.

But now, things are looking up. 

Now, while Mustafi may still be at the club, Arsenal have splashed more cash than anyone thought they had and look to be ready to push for a place in the top four next season. 

Unai Emery

And that's because they've broken their transfer record to bring £72m man Nicolas Pepe to the club. 

The arrival of the Ivory Coast international will turn Arsenal's already dangerous attack into what could be an unstoppable force. Here are a few of the potential attacking options at Emery's disposal next season. 

5-2-3 (Aubameyang - Lacazette - Pepe)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,Alexandre Lacazette


Emery tried his best to implement a back five formation last season, especially away from home. By playing a 5-2-3 he could stay defensive as well as including all of the biggest names up top. 

The explosive pace of Aubameyang and Pepe either side of Alexandre Lacazette would be a terrifying sight for any defender and would lend itself to dynamic counter attacking football.

This could prove to be the answer to Arsenal's search for away points, but it would need an extremely strong two in the middle to make it work.


As mentioned, the front three would be brilliant together, however, with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira as the only defensive minded centre midfielders of any quality at the Emirates, the middle of the park could be vulnerable.

Moreover, this option may lack an aspect of creativity. By leaving out a playmaker the Gunners will be relying on their wing-backs to deliver the decisive pass.

4-3-3 (Mkhitaryan - Aubameyang - Pepe)



It's no secret that Emery often likes to play only one of the Aubameyang-Lacazette duo up top at once so that the other can make an impact off the bench.

By using Henrikh Mkhitaryan out wide, Arsenal would be able to incorporate a player with vision into the starting lineup without using an attacking midfielder, giving extra strength to those in the middle.

On the other side, Pepe could use his ability to cut in on his left and deliver in the final third to give Aubameyang some much needed support.   


Without Lacazette's cool head in front of goal Arsenal could miss some golden opportunities. However, Pepe's 23 goals last season show he is no slouch in front of goal.

The Gunners are known for their attacking football and playing a flat three in the middle may frustrate the fans when they are at home and failing to break down a resilient defence.

4-2-3-1 (Aubameyang - Ozil - Pepe - Lacazette)



This surely has to be the go to lineup for the upcoming season? The dynamism of Aubameyang and Pepe on each side will give full-backs a torrid time week in week out.

With a world-class trio to hit at, ​Mesut Ozil will be in his element. The German will be able to sit at number ten and dictate the game with pass after pass. As the wide two are natural strikers there is also no chance that Lacazette will be left isolated.

If that wasn't exciting enough, Pepe is known for his work rate and will be willing to track back if necessary. Dani Ceballos, Torreira and Xhaka will also be able to get in on the act, especially when the Gunners are in top gear at the Emirates.


With the defence in its current state, this formation will not work away from home.

In all honesty, the Gunners defence is simply not strong enough to cope with all four of these attackers on the pitch at the same time.

On top of this, Arsenal's star of last season may begin to get frustrated if he is pushed out wide too often throughout the course of the season. 

5-2-1-2 (Ceballos - Martinelli - Pepe)



This option shows the strength in depth going forward that Arsenal will have next season. It will be a long season and the build up to the winter break looks to be packed with matches that will test the whole squad.

Originally signed as a striker, Pepe has shown at Lille that he is prolific up front. Combine this with the exciting talent that is Martinelli and Arsenal could score for fun even without their first choice strikers on the pitch.

Playing Ceballos as an attacking midfielder could be the way that Emery links his midfielders and attackers away from home next season. He will surely work harder than Ozil in the middle, giving the Gunners some rigidity in the middle.


Obviously, this is a weaker lineup that the other options at Emery's disposal. Pepe and Martinelli may not have the strength and know-how to give experienced centre-back pairings any problems.

Arsenal fans will be hoping Ceballos hits the ground running in London. However, the memories of Denis Suarez's failures last season will be fresh in their minds.

4-2-4 (Pepe - Aubameyang - Lacazette - Nelson)

Reiss Nelson


Who needs defenders right? All ​Arsenal have to do is score more than their opponents. Perhaps we will see Emery's side involved in a few 4-4 draws come the end of the season.

In all seriousness, judging from the club's summer signings there have been no efforts to provide an immediate fix to their current defensive woes and Arsenal will be leaking goals from left, right, and centre anyway, meaning they will need this explosive lineup to outscore the opposition.


Clearly, this formation will be found out in the ​Premier League. Away from home the Gunners would crumble under consistent pressure and at the Emirates they will be caught on the counter attack.

This said, the squad is currently so one sided that playing with four up top would accurately represent how the squad looks on paper.