A powerful midfield presence, Luiz Gustavo possesses all the important attributes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger needs in his midfield.
He is strong in the tackle, has a robust frame, possesses brilliant passing abilities and a deadly long shot. For Brazil and Bayern Munich he is always consistent, hunting the ball down and restricting space to cover the defencce, while providing a platform to move forward, where he has the vision to accurately pick out accurate through balls and support the attack from behind.
Arsenal have lacked a certain tenacity and aggression since Patrick Vieira’s departure in 2005 - coincidentally the year of Arsenal’s last piece of silverware.
Gustavo would bring raw power and a highly physical game to an otherwise conservative Arsenal midfield, who can often go missing against big, powerful opposition.
He can establish a base of consistency in the Arsenal midfield, and is capable of providing 'X-factor' moments, whether it’s in the form of a defence-splitting pass or a rocket of a long shot.
He is a versatile midfielder, who can either compliment a deep-lying pivot such as Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta or pair up with another powerful midfielder like he has for Brazil, providing a near-impenetrable midfield pairing with Paulinho.
If he joined Arsenal, he would free Arteta from his defensive duties, which would be hugely beneficial to Arsenal as he could focus more on what he does best: creating chances from deep and being able to have a more attack-minded approach in his passing game.
Gustavo also would provide some depth in Wenger’s midfield. In the central midfield role, Wenger only has Jack Wilshere, Arteta and Aaron Ramsey at his disposal, as About Diaby is currently hampered by several long-term injuries & Francis Coquelin is out on loan.
During the latter stages of the season, when fatigue starts to set in or if an injury were to occur, Arsenal’s midfield would be greatly lacking in depth. The signing of Gustavo would help Wenger tremendously, allowing for a greater rotation throughout the squad and allowing larger recovery times.
But there would be other factors to consider, most notably availability and Wenger’s willingness to spend. Having slipped down the Allianz Arena pecking order with Thiago’s arrival, he may start to look elsewhere, especially with the 2014 World Cup just around the corner.
Also, him being only 25 years old means he still has at least five good years ahead of him, so the potential €17.5m bid could be quite a bargain.
However, only time will tell, as Gustavo may want to stay and fight for his position in Pep Guardiola’s starting 11 - but expect Arsenal to keep close tabs on the Brazilian defensive midfielder this summer.
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