In recent times the fact that Arsenal need a strong defensive midfielder has become common knowledge amongst every soul watching them play. However, despite the club so blatantly needing to strengthen in that area, Arsene Wenger has decided to neglect the idea on multiple occasions.
Fan pressure may finally force his hand in this month's or the summer transfer window and two names have been more strongly linked with a move to north London than most.
Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton and William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon seem high up on Wenger's list. I believe the former would be the far better signing though and hope for Arsenal’s sake, Wenger takes the right decision and focuses his aim on his compatriot.
Style over substance
In terms of style, Schneiderlin fits the criteria. He likes to press high and aggressively, trying to win the ball off players in high areas. Arsenal haven’t had a player with these qualities since the days of Patrick Vieira; something that a plethora of on lookers have pointed out in the past few years.
Carvalho is probably more technically sound but despite having a more impressive physical frame, is more laid back and bases his game on position as well as his superb perception.
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However, Arsenal’s problem is that they have had too many highly technical players and not enough with bite, who would look to dominate in midfield. Schneiderlin would certainly provide that, adding a lot more passion and fight to the Gunners ranks.
Whilst Carvalho can often go missing in games and this is something that should deter Wenger from acquiring his services.
The Southampton man also has the advantage of having played very well in the Premier League for the past few years and is already accustomed to English football. Meanwhile Carvalho would need a transitional period to come to terms with the pace of the league. He would also have to get settled into a new country and acclimatise to it’s culture, whilst trying to learn the language from scratch.
Schneiderlin is only 25-years-old and has many years at the top potentially ahead of him as well. Furthermore, he’s currently the better of the two players by a considerable margin and is far more complete as an individual.
Arsenal need readymade stars who won’t need a lot of guidance. Essentially they need somebody to join the club who is already the real deal and the Frenchman is seemingly that.
What’s more, Carvalho won’t come any cheaper, as I know Wenger does enjoy a good bargain. He is a highly-rated young player and Sporting always try to sell on their best young stars for the maximum price.
Everything seems to point at Schneiderlin being the man for the Gunners to fill this particular hole in their side. I’m sure that will come to a host of moans and groans from Southampton fans at the prospect of another star man leaving St Mary’s, but it’s undeniable.
He is the type of defensive midfielder Arsenal need and his style would suit the club perfectly. He’s settled in this country and knows how to perform in the Premier League, he’s also currently a better player when they are in need of a ready-made star and he’s not too much more expensive.
Carvalho is a good player and he could go on to become world class but as of now the man I have faced him up against in this article would make much more sense as a purchase.