Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has three issues to fix in international break

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is facing his first real test at the Emirates heading into the international break. There was plenty of optimism heading into the new season after Arsenal finished last year on a high.

The Gunners beat both Manchester City and Chelsea as they went on to lift the FA Cup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang committed his long-term future to the club not long after he helped Arsenal beat Liverpool in the Community Shield.

But they’ve been unable to build any consistency this season having lost four of their opening eight Premier League games.

Arsenal boss Arteta could well point to their tough fixture list which saw them face Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Manchester United.

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The Gunners defeated the latter with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring from the spot.

However, they were lethargic and looked out of ideas as they fell to a surprise 3-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Sunday.

The result leaves Arteta with more questions to ponder over during the international break.

The main priority for the Arsenal boss will be trying to solve Aubameyang’s struggles in front of goal.

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The Gabon international has failed to score from open play in the league since the win over Fulham back in September.

He’s managed just seven shots on target in eight games so far and has looked a shadow of his former self, struggling to affect games as he usually does.

That will lead on to Arteta’s second issue which is Arsenal’s front line as a whole.

Alexandre Lacazette was Arsenal’s youngest starting attacker against Villa at 29 years of age.

The Frenchman has been a popular choice under Arteta, along with summer signing Willian, to play up top with Aubameyang.

Both Willian and Lacazette don’t possess the pace they once had years ago while Nicolas Pepe has begun to show signs of why Arsenal paid big money to sign him in 2019.

Pepe has started just once in the Premier League but his performances in the Europa League so far could well warrant a change of approach from Arteta moving forward.

Finally, Arteta will start to have one eye on the January transfer window with incomings and outgoings expected.

Signing another youthful attacker is reportedly among Arsenal’s main priorities with the club still interested in Houssem Aouar.

But trimming down the squad will likely be the first point of call as Arsenal currently have eight centre-backs.

Arteta has two weeks before Arsenal return to action in the busy festive period which could prove vital in their hopes for the remainder of the season.

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