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Arsenal must make Varane statement

Arsenal
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Which Arsenal midfielders will Arsenal Wenger choose against Burnley?

Having struggled to find enough senior players to fill the bench at times this season, Arsene Wenger suddenly finds himself with the opposite problem for this Saturday's FA Cup game against Burnley.

With Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky the latest to return from injury, Wenger now has a wealth of midfield options to choose from ahead of the fourth round game. And while Wenger opted against rotating too heavily against Sunderland in the 3-1 win in the third round, there may be more room for experimentation this time against second-tier opposition.

The Arsenal manager opted to rest Mesut Ozil, with Aaron Ramsey on the bench, and can probably afford to do so again this time. Even with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla still out, that would leave the following options as the manager pieces together his central midfield.

Mohamed Elneny

The £7 million newcomer from Basel has yet to play for Arsenal after being on the bench for their last two games, but a cup game at home against a Championship side seems like a perfect opportunity to give him his first start. Many Arsenal fans are eager to see what the Egyptian can do, and whether Wenger will use him in a purely defensive role or let him roam forward as a box-to-box midfielder.

Francis Coquelin

Coquelin is fit again after sustaining a knee ligament injury in November, and his presence in front of the back four has been sorely missed. One of the first names on the teamsheet in the league when he's fit, Coquelin could begin this one on the bench before making a full return against Southampton on Wednesday.

Calum Chambers

Chambers was brought in from Southampton as a defender and played his first season at the club as a right-back, but is being re-schooled as a holding midfielder, and played the part adequately in the FA Cup game against Sunderland. But with Elneny's arrival and Coquelin's return, he may have to wait for another chance in the position.

After nine seasons at Arsenal, Tomas Rosicky could be on the way out this summer.
Tomas Rosicky has struggled to get fully fit this season.

Tomas Rosicky

The Czech Republic veteran hasn't played a competitive game since an international last June, but has finally recovered from a serious knee injury. His experience and creativity can be a valuable weapon for Wenger in the second half of the season, but the FA Cup may represent his best chance of getting playing time. He's had some stellar performances in the competition in the past so will want to prove he was worthy of his new contract.

Mikel Arteta

The Arsenal captain has yet to make a start since his return from injury earlier this month. If Wenger goes by seniority, Arteta should have a place in the XI against Burnley. The Spaniard has lost his regular starting spot to Coquelin but would surely love to lead another cup run for the Gunners.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a rare start in central midfield against Sunderland, and Wenger has talked up his potential to excel in the role. Depending on which attacking players Wenger decides to rest, Oxlade-Chamberlain could be back on the wing on Saturday, or get another go in the middle of the park.

Alex Iwobi

Iwobi was the only member of Arsenal's under-21 squad given a start in their first FA Cup game of the season, and he's likely to feature again against Burnley. The 19-year-old Nigeria international normally plays on the wing but was handed a chance to impress in central midfield with Oxlade-Chamberlain against Sunderland. However, with so many experienced players now available, Iwobi may have to settle for being on the bench this time.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

The 18-year-old French midfielder has impressed with the U21s this season and came on as a substitute against Sunderland. Has been described by Wenger as "something special" but is still waiting for his first start for Arsenal. He'll probably have to wait a bit longer than Saturday, yet expect to see him come off the bench.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him @MattiasKaren.

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