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World class, through and through
He's done well in the middle this season and could prove to a worthy replacement. As I've outlined earlier, he has been quiet in a Fabregas-centric team. His more direct style, moving forward and looking for options after, takes more risks than Fabregas's pass and move.
However, he is one of our best dribblers and he doesn't get a lot of chances to run at people. He is a skilful dribbler with great pace and a good engine. He likes to lurk around the are pinging passes to options and looking to player team mates in. His passing range is very different from Fabregas's; while I'm sure he's got a great long pass, he likes to keep it simple and short. This forces opposition to have to adjust themselves to the change in formation and opens more gaps. His speed and dummy runs allow him to distract and a playmaker with good vision would be able to find success in the chaos.
The main issue is who would replace him on the wing? There are many possible replacements, looking at our current team. Walcott, Arshavin and possibly Hazard are all good, pacey technical midfielders who who relish the chance to cut in on the left and go for goal. Walcott and Arshavin would relish the chance to put their shooting boots on and is better than wasting crosses for a fairly short and weak team, aerially.
Arshavin is at his best playing with Nasri, as they like to run at teams and Nasri has a fantastic eye for space to be matched for Arshavin's passing. Which is at its best when teams are backtracking and allowing him to play killer balls. The triangles do not work well with Arshavin, who's much better running than static as his Leeds display showed. Let's not forget his goals against Villa and Wigan, which had him on the left and his stronger foot.
Vela could also be option as he looks for his position. He did well linking with Van Persie and would've added two goals if it weren't for his habit of falling in the area. He also has quite a selfish streak, which may be caused by his need to score goals to stay in the team. I've never seen him score a goal from more than 20 yards, yet he likes to try his luck out from farther. Though his pace and quick play could be a bonus as he is much more a team player away from goal.
The other option could be to bring Wilshere out on the left. He is quick but not fast and he likes to cut in and control possession like Nasri. I've not seen much of his crossing, but Arsenal are known for great crossing. As a natural left footer, this would allow him to cut out and cross in, or cut in move the play forward.
His goals this season, have shown a lot of technique preferring a deft touch over bullets. He only really shoots from comfortable positions and almost never when there's a better option. While it sounds negative, he is much more precise in his shooting choosing good opportunities, if not finding team mates who are.
Another wild card is Emmanuel Thomas. At 19, he has seen himself be overtaken by the diminutive Wilshere. Thomas is tall, strong and pacey, possessing a great technique and left foot. He looks to be in the build of Adebayor, but I would see him more as very rough Ibrahimovich. He is very inexperienced but possesses all the qualities we would need. Like many of the reserve squad, he is looking for first-team experience and needs it, most likely looking to leave if we cannot find a space for him.
An unknown quality who would have to be assessed solely on how well he does on loan, he would prove to be a tricky opponent, working in the shadows of the superstars around him. I wouldn't expect anyone but the right back to care about him.