Arsene Wenger is considering a permanent switch to a back three following Monday’s rare away win for Arsenal over Middlesbrough.
The Gunners boss ditched his 4-2-3-1 set-up for a 3-4-3 at the Riverside.
This isn’t the first time Wenger has considered scrapping Arsenal’s famous back four. He experimented with three central defenders in training in 2012, but resisted.
A full-time switch to 3-4-3 would see the club enter the market for a new central defender this summer.
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk has admirers at Arsenal, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are much more advanced in their pursuit.
Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere is poised for talks with Wenger after his latest injury setback.
The Arsenal midfielder, on loan at Bournemouth, has been ruled out for the season with a hairline fracture of his lower left leg.
The 25-year-old’s deal at Arsenal expires at the end of next season and there is doubt over whether Wilshere figures in Wenger’s first-team plans.