The more I see Denilson in Arsenal, the more I am convinced he is not the defensive midfielder Arsenal need. However, he may be a lot more.
Denilson's ability of giving away fouls outside the box, coupled with his attacking exploits, means he is not really defensive. Moreover, his effective and consistent cutback crosses from the left into the box create a wonderful dilemma for Arsenal. Could he be an attacking partner for Fabregas?
I have analysed the positions he can be utilised in, but there are complications.
Defensive midfielder (4-4-2): In a more attacking 4-1-3-2, Denilson is not the kind of player to sit back like Flamini, he likes to attack and he does it lot better. Still a good tackler but gives away free kicks at dangerous positions (usually).
Midfielder(4-4-2): He can play alongside Fabregas as a play-making midfielder in a 4-4-2, but this would mean for Fabregas to share defensive responsibilities—but we know from last season what Fabregas can do when given the license to attack. So no.
Midfielder(4-5-1): In a 4-1-4-1 formation, I think Denilson can be most effective. It would need a defensive minded midfielder at the back (Alexandre Song will do), Denilson to share defensive and attacking duties and Fabregas to attack. However, this change would come at the cost of a forward. Feasible? You be the decider, but it is definitely worth a go in Champions League.
It is a tricky situation when a player shows another dimension and you start to think what if! For now Denilson is doing what he is told to do for Arsenal with some revelations but what if!
Have your say! What formation is best for Arsenal to make most out of its players?