Long-term role at Arsenal defined for midfield starlet as club moulds its future

Arsenal could be yet another step closer to sounding out their future look under Mikel Arteta as the definition for the role of Belgian international midfielder Sambi Lokonga may have been revealed.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone, however. Lokonga already featured prominently at Anderlecht in that role across three seasons before coming to Arsenal as both an out-and-out defensive midfielder, but also a deeper sitting midfielder in a central pairing while operating as the 6.

With the future of Mohamed Elneny seemingly forever in question at the Emirates, Lokonga represents probably the only other player in the first-team ranks capable of being utilized in such a deployment. Other long-term midfield options the likes of Charlie Patino and Miguel Azeez still have no definitive direction yet given their continued development.

An adaptative role for Emile Smith Role at Arsenal?

Arsenal is currently on the pathway that leads to the Champions League promised land next season with a potential top-four finish leaving many in the fanbase salivating at the prospect of once more squaring-off against the continental elite.

One reason for much of their domestic success in the Premier League this season has been Hale End graduate Emile Smith Rowe, as the England international sits atop the club's goalscoring chart this term (9-goals) and joint-ninth in the league overall.

But his role under Mikel Arteta could potentially change as the same report in The Athletic highlights a potential positional swap for the Gunners star that could see him retasked as a mobile 8.

Though deployed as a winger on paper to great effect this season, Smith Rowe so often already takes up positions far more central during both the build-up phase and in the final third when Arsenal are on the attack. Switching him to a more dedicated central role could offer some interesting tactical options moving forward.

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