Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has urged Arsene Wenger to trust his instincts and push through a move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin this summer, as he feels he would make a fine addition to the Gunners squad.
The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium since last year and unless Southampton can snatch unlikely qualification to the Champions League via a top-four finish in the league, he might well push for a transfer that would see him arrive at a club more tailored to matching his ambitions.
Latest reports suggest that Wenger is keen to make an offer for Schneiderlin once the transfer window opens, and Parlour, who himself operated in the Frenchman’s midfield for the best part of 12 years, is fully behind that plan.
"Perfect. Absolutely yes," Parlour said, when asked if Schneiderlin would suit Arsenal, as relayed by Metro.
"I’ve watched him a few times this year at St. Mary’s, and against Chelsea. I thought he did a great job in front of the back four.
"When the ball goes wide you can see him dropping into the back two to make a three. So when balls are going in there’s an extra defender there – Gilberto Silva did that during the unbeaten season.
"He knows the Premier League, he’s not got to settle and would be perfect for Arsenal in that midfield area."
The right man?
A defensive-midfielder by reputation, Schneiderlin’s purchase could go some way to solidifying what is fast becoming an ageing Gunners midfield, whilst also giving the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil further licence to push up the pitch.
The trio of Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini are all drawing closer to the end of their careers as high-level footballers, necessitating a need for new blood.
Another option that Wenger has is that he keeps faith with this season’s revelation, Francis Coquelin. The former perennial loanee has returned to north London this term with a point to prove and looks at home within Wenger’s starting XI.
If he remains the only natural anchorman for the midfield though questions will remain over Arsenal’s potential longevity in the title-race next term, and fans would be far more assured were another option to be introduced.
What makes Schneiderlin’s possible transfer more feasible is the fact that his club aren’t likely to be able to stand in his way for a second season running. As a result of the St. Mary’s exodus that saw Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana depart last summer Schneiderlin was forced into a stay, and, whilst the Saints aren’t going to be any more willing to sell him this time around, the player himself will surely fight his corner more staunchly.
Arsenal fans, is Parlour right? Could Schneiderlin be the missing link for next season’s Gunners? Let us know your thoughts in the matter in the comments box below.
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