In the summer transfer window Luiz Gustavo joined German club VfL Wolfsburg from the European champions Bayern Munich for a reported fee of around £15 million.
During the same week he joined Wolfsburg, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal tabled a bid for the Brazilian holding midfield player. Gustavo is certainly an exciting prospect for any club; but why did he turn down Arsenal?
Having spent time in the Bundesliga with Bayern, Gustavo knew what he was gaining from Wolfsburg and just how competitive the league is. Wolfsburg are a major force in the Bundesliga and are competing for European places, surely this played a big part.
Gustavo's transfer makes it clear just how serious Wolfsburg are about reaching the exciting platform of the Europa League or even Champions League, or at least signaled their intentions.
The Bundesliga has improved dramatically over the past few years and last season boasted to the rest of Europe the talent that they have on show. Gustavo almost certainly saw this opportunity as an exciting one, to assist Wolfsburg in to Europe and a chance to prove to Felipe Scorlari that his place should be cemented in Rio de Janeiro next year.
The World Cup was at the top of Gustavo's priorities when choosing where to relocate this summer; as making the wrong decision could see his place in the Brazil XI threatened. Wolfsburg would not be seen as a safe option by any means, but damaging his reputation in another league seemed far too risky.
No doubt Wenger saw Gustavo as a chance to enhance his Arsenal's depth and to help prepare them better for the Champions League. Another player with a delightful capability to spread the ball around the pitch, the type of player Wenger admires. Not only does he offer so much on the attack with his consistent and creative passes he also supports the defense well often making firm challenges and providing assistance for the defence.
Although his services were required by many, Gustavo's decision was all too easy; he was not prepared to put his starting spot for Brazil at risk. The thought of the physical challenges in the Premier League and fighting for a place with like for like players at Arsenal, perhaps was a challenge he was not willing to take on; especially in a World Cup season. For now he remains in the Bundesliga.
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