Report: Arteta almost used 28-year-old as surprise central midfielder v Forest
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Report: Arteta almost used 28-year-old as surprise central midfielder v Forest

Mikel Arteta considered using Sead Kolasinac in central midfield in the days before Arsenal faced Nottingham Forest in their FA Cup third round tie, according to a report from The Athletic.

The Gunners have seen their hopes of adding a 15th FA Cup dashed at the first possible hurdle. They were beaten 1-0 at the City Ground. It proved to be a hugely disappointing night for Arteta.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal handed a number of youngsters a chance to be involved in the match-day squad. But Arteta’s hand seemed to be somewhat forced when it came to picking the midfield pairing.

Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are away at the Africa Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been loaned out to Roma. And Granit Xhaka was unavailable.

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That prompted Arteta to turn to Charlie Patino to play alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga. Patino is considered one of the most exciting talents at the club. But he surely would have started on the bench on Sunday had the Arsenal boss had more options.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

In fact, it would appear that Arteta did indeed have another idea in mind. The Athletic reports that Kolasinac was considered for a central midfield role as the Gunners prepared for the game.

Kolasinac would be involved for Arsenal. He came on for Cedric Soares in stoppage-time. And the change appeared to leave many Arsenal supporters baffled. The likes of Salah-Eddine Oulad M’hand, Omari Hutchinson and Mika Biereth were also on the bench.

Arsenal fans will hope midfield signing is on cards as Arteta considers Kolasinac decision

The defeat would have been even tougher to stomach had Kolasinac been in midfield. There are high hopes for Patino. And the fans are excited to see what he can do.

Kolasinac is set to leave in the summer, according to The Athletic, so now using him in a completely different role would make be a gamble. He is yet to play in the position (via Transfermarkt).

It raises the question about why Arsenal loaned Maitland-Niles out. Holding onto him for this game would have made more sense.

Arsenal fans will hope a new signing is on the cards. Otherwise, it may not be the last time Kolasinac is considered as a potential midfield option.

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