With Barcelona reportedly interested in Sead Kolasinac, per Mundo Deportivo, Emery could be set to lose a fundamental cog in his three-at-the-back system.
It makes sense that Barcelona want a second-choice left-back to compete with Jordi Alba, but it makes absolutely zero sense for Arsenal to allow their 25-year-old flying wing-back to leave the club anytime soon considering the versatility the Bosnian offers.
Emery has mostly opted to go with a 4-2-3-1 system this season, in which the starting back four usually includes Nacho Monreal at left-back in a flat four, with Kolasinac the second choice.
However, the first we saw of Emery’s brilliant tactical versatility came when the Gunners swept their North London rivals aside 4-2 at The Emirates. Going into that clash back in December last year both Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil were left out as Emery started with a back three and Kolasinac at wing-back.
The system that Emery opted to start with on that day was a 3-4-3 system that saw Hector Bellerin and Kolasinac flying down the left and right flank, and it worked an absolute treat for the Gunners. Since that game, Kolasinac has been the club’s first-choice left-wing-back, as it also accommodates Monreal as one of the three centre-halves in a back three.
If the marauding Arsenal man is sold this summer, Emery will need to either sign a replacement left-sided wing-back or scrap his three-at-the-back system, which would be a real shame considering how effective it has proven to be at times.
The former Schalke man has underlined his importance to Emery’s tactical versatility this season, and Barcelona’s interest will represent a notable worry this summer.