With recent reports suggesting that Luiz Gustavo is close to signing for Arsenal from Bayern Munich, the north London club finally look set to spend their first lot of money during the transfer window.
However, will the player be the right move for Arsenal, and how will he look to fit in with the team?
The Brazilian midfielder is used to playing an anchoring midfield role, putting in hard-working performances for the team. That allows more creative players to focus on attacking without jeopardising the defence of the overall team.
Gustavo performed this role well at Bayern, with his solid displays in the middle of the park giving the likes of Franck Ribery, Tony Kroos and Thomas Muller free reign further up the pitch.
However, Gustavo suffered from injuries last season meaning he did not get as much playing time as he would’ve liked. This coupled with the arrival of Javi Martinez last season saw him lose his first-team spot, and with Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara recently signed by the club, Gustavo is deemed surplus to requirements in a midfield bloated with talent.
Although rumoured to have agreed a deal with German side Wolfsburg, once Gustavo learned there was significant interest from the Premier League he wanted to listen to more offers, and Arsenal have emerged as front-runners to land the midfielder. It would seem to be a smart piece of business for the club.
It is no secret that Arsenal are in need of a defensively-minded midfielder. Although Mikel Arteta can perform the role very well, as he proved last season, he is better deployed in a more creative role.
Gustavo could be the player that Wenger has been after, with him possessing a defensive play-style that has saw him become an important fixture in the Brazilian side, and he was impressive in his nation’s triumph in the recent Confederations Cup.
He would fit well in the team, playing the anchor role in a three man midfield that would allow the creativity of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere to really shine through.
An industrious player, he could be the engine of an Arsenal team that is often overrun in the middle of the park, providing important protection to an improving back four.
If Arsenal do manage to sign Gustavo, he will be an important capture for the side that will give them a huge boost for their upcoming campaign.
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