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Mikel Arteta plans on training talented Arsenal midfielder into new left-back role

With the inverted left-back role viewed so highly by Mikel Arteta, he’s already planning for which Arsenal players can fill it in the future.

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Mikel Arteta - Arsenal manager
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The left-back position within Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side is viewed as one of the most complexed roles in the team. When fit it’s often filled by Oleksandr Zinchenko or Takehiro Tomiyasu, depending on the opposition.

However more recently it’s been Jakub Kiwior who has been excelling in the left side of defence. In the future could we see Mikel Arteta deploy someone else there?

When Oleksandr Zinchenko plays, Arsenal fans are used to seeing him play as the inverted left-back, with him possibly being the best at it in the Premier League. The Ukrainian is a midfielder by trade and that’s where he’s asked the play when the Gunners have possession of the ball.

Zinchenko will take up a position next to the defensive midfielder, which has often been Declan Rice or Jorginho this season, when Arsenal have the ball. His technical ability and range of passing is widely viewed as his best traits. Zinchenko has been vitally important at helping Arsenal breakdown deep blocks over the last two campaigns.

READ MORE: Bayern Munich suffer injury crisis as club captain withdraws from national team squad.

Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko

Out of possession he becomes the left-back in a back four which is where he’s seen as vulnerable. Mikel Arteta has often used Takehiro Tomiyasu instead of Zinchenko when the Gunners face top tier opposition.

The Japanese international might not be as good on the ball, however defensively he’s more trusted than the Ukrainian and he can still perform the inverted role at a very decent standard.


With the inverted left-back role viewed so highly by Mikel Arteta, he’s already planning for which players can fill it in the future. Just like Zinchenko, Myles Lewis-Skelly is a midfielder by trade, however internally the club are already planning on training the youngster as a full-back.

Myles Lewis-Skelly

People within the club, including Mikel Arteta, believe Myles Lewis-Skelly has the technical ability, as well the passing range to become a left-back in the mould of Oleksandr Zinchenko, as per Simon Collings.

The midfielder is still only 17-years-old, however he’s regarded as one of the best talents in the Arsenal academy at this current moment, alongside Ethan Nwaneri.

Although Myles Lewis-Skelly is yet to make his competitive debut for the Gunners, he’s been on the bench in a UEFA Champions League game against RC Lens earlier this season, as well as a Premier League match against Brighton.

His debut is expected to come in the 2024/25 campaign with Mikel Arteta keen on getting a closer look at the player during pre-season.

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