Although it isn’t the most pressing matter and there are more urgent issues at hand such as acquiring a prolific striker, an out-and-out defensive midfielder, a right-back and perhaps a centre back; Arsenal could use another creative presence in the middle of the park.
With the current options of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta, there’s plenty of talent but it couldn’t hurt to add some depth to the squad.
Arsenal looked stagnant for long spells last season as the creative burden was often placed solely on Cazorla’s shoulders. The pint-sized Spaniard is a marvel in the Gunners’ midfield but he was often the only one to provide the creativity in attack and he could use someone to share the role with.
Rosicky did well at times but the Czech international is simply too inconsistent and frequently goes missing when the pressure is on.
Ramsey and Arteta did a sterling job in Arsenal’s midfield last season; the Welshman and Spaniard formed a good partnership with Arteta’s organisational skills and good positioning and Ramsey’s staggering work rate and boundless energy successfully breaking down attacks in front of their back four. However, apart from Arteta’s accurate passing and piercing long balls, the duo can’t be relied on to provide a title-challenging creative spark.
Jack Wilshere is a threat in the attacking midfield as he proved when he returned from injury earlier last season. But, again plagued by a nagging ankle injury in the latter half, the young Englishman failed to produce the quality that he is certainly capable of.
Also, Wenger will need to decide where to deploy the England international – be it alongside Cazorla in an attacking role or deeper, in a more defensive function.
Regardless of where the French tactician decides to play Wilshere, he could use a world class player to take some of the load off of his potential future captain.
If Arsenal are going to compete for top honours next season, they’ll need an attacking midfield to rival Chelsea’s ‘Three Amigos’ – Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar.
Cazorla and Wilshere are on par with their three west London midfield rivals but Wenger would need to make one more acquisition to equal Mr Mourinho’s star trio.
A deal for top transfer target Stevan Jovetic now seems unlikely as the forward would reportedly prefer to stay in Italy and that could see Italian giants Juventus snatch him up.
However, if the Montenegrin does make the move to the Emirates he could be the solution. The 23-year-old might not be the out-and-out striker that Arsenal need but he is certainly a creative force; can dribble well; and can set up teammates to score.
Wenger will then be able to play him in a deep-lying role just behind the striker where he’d be able to link up and provide balls to the centre forward or take the shot on himself. However, £25m is too much for a largely unproven player and there are cheaper options to fill this role.
Other viable options include ex-Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas, Kevin Strootman and Lyon youngster Clement Grenier.
Fabregas is reportedly unhappy with his situation at Barcelona and is looking for regular first team football ahead of a World Cup year in which he would be looking to represent his country.
He would be the ideal option to play alongside Spain teammate Santi Cazorla and the pair would be devastating in the midfield as both are incredibly talented, equally creative and able to score goals. However, despite reports linking the Spaniard to Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, Fabregas is unlikely to return to England so soon after making the move to his boyhood club.
If he does decide to exit the Camp Nou, Arsenal will have to shell out £25m for their former talisman.
Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman has become on of the most admired attacking midfielders in Europe. The 23-year-old is set to leave PSV Eindhoven this summer and several top clubs, including Man United have signalled their interest.
If Arsenal can snatch Strootman up before the Red Devils get their claws into him, the Dutchman could be the ideal fit for the Gunners. He has fantastic attacking prowess; able to hold up play, link up with the striker or take the shot himself. His aggressiveness and forcefulness in attack could only benefit an Arsenal team that can seem lacklustre at times, while his defensive instincts are also a major benefit.
Clement Grenier has recently been linked to Arsenal. The Lyon midfielder hinted that he would be on the move this summer and his destination could well be north London.
Wenger is an admirer of the 22-year-old and has compared him to former Arsenal maestro Samir Nasri. The Frenchman has shown ingenuity in Lyon’s midfield and scored seven goals while providing nine assists, and, under Wenger’s renowned mentorship, he could become yet another French sensation at the Emirates.
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