Football

When will Arsene Wenger sort out Arsenal's defensive midfield?

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Long suffering Arsenal fans have been begging Arsene Wenger to sign a defensive midfielder and a defender since the beginning of time (or the beginning of this season).

Yesterday was a good day for the Gunners then. Wenger signed Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista for €15m, providing Arsenal with crucial cover at the back. The Nacho Monreal experiment can mercifully end.

But what about that defensive midfielder?

Arsenal have needed a purely defensive presence in their midfield since the start of last season, a shortcoming cruelly defined by brutal away defeats to top four rivals in the previous campaign.

Arsenal have Mathieu Flamini, who they signed on a free transfer, but the Frenchman is mostly all bark, little bite.

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So, for little other reason than sheer interest, we decided to go back and look at just how many attacking midfielders Wenger has signed since he last pulled out his chequebook for a quality holding player.

All the top teams are built around at least one - Matic at Chelsea, Busquets at Barcelona, Manchester City have Fernando AND Fernandinho, Bayern Munich have Philipp Lahm.

There's speculation Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton could be the man, or one of the Bender twins from the Bundesliga. A top talent on these lines is needed, but no luck yet.

Instead, Wenger is obsessed by the versatile attacker. Below, we've put together a breakdown of all the players he's bought that fit this bill since his last defensive midfielder signing that cost any money.

In the interest of full disclosure, recent signing Krystian Bielik - reportedly a defensive midfielder - has not been counted as Wenger has himself confirmed that the Polish teenager is 'one for the future' and is therefore not the plug-in-and-play defensive signing Arsenal need.

So who's the last true defensive midfielder Wenger signed for Arsenal? And no, Mikel Arteta does not count. The Spaniard was signed as an attacking midfielder from Everton and plays central midfield for Wenger.

His experiment in a holding role ended in a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea.

So, give up?

LASSANA DIARRA! Signed from Chelsea for £4m in August 2007.

Good old Diarra, a gifted journeyman whose career has encompassed both Portsmouth and Real Madrid.

Signed from Chelsea in 2007, the defensive midfielder made just a handful of appearances for the Gunners.

Shame most of them were at right-back. Oh Arsene.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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