We’re all optimistically hoping for Arsenal to finally spend that much talked about cash to improve the squad. I will have many sleepless nights thinking about the possibility of superstars lighting up the Emirates pitch, as I’m sure many of my fellow Gooners will be. When we think of areas that need attention this summer, several positions spring to mind, such as striker, defensive midfielder and rightback. There is one position, however, that will be way down on Wenger’s list of priorities when he thinks about spending his, supposedly vast, transfer kitty. That position is attacking midfielder. With Santiago Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and of course club record signing Mesut Ozil on our roster, we’re spoilt with options in that area.
However, recent reports could be a serious point of concern as Wenger prepares for the new season. It appears that last seasons Champions League runners up Atletico Madrid may be looking to lure our Spanish star to the Calderón. Despite, statistical speaking, not having a season as impressive as the last, Cazorla still plays a crucial role in the way Arsenal play. Wenger likes to have an auxiliary midfielder playing on the left flank in order to ensure Arsenal dominate possession in games and Cazorla fills this role perfectly, being the perfect balance of attacking midfielder and winger. He reminds me of Gunners legend Robert Pires.
Losing Cazorla could be a serious problem should a move to Atletico Madrid materialize. This is where Matthieu Valbuena comes in.
The Frenchman is very similar to Cazorla in the way he plays. His style is a pleasure to watch and oozes class with every touch, pass and shot. He has been one of the stars of this years FIFA World Cup, gaining the man of the match award in Les Bleus opening match as they beat Honduras three nil. He has stared in a free role on the left or right side of Didier Deschamps 4-3-3 formation. He scored in the demolition of Switzerland, assisted by current Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud.
His club statistics are also impressive, with his passing and creative play standing out as particularly brilliant. He has a passing accuracy of 85% so would have no problems at all when it come to fitting into Arsenals slick, passing style of play. His creativity is excellent, making 83 key passes and creating 89 chances for his team mates – more than both Ozil and Cazorla. He’s also chipped in with three goals for Olympique de Marseille.
Guy Stephan is the assistant coach to Deschamps in the French national team set up is a huge fan of Valbuena. In a recent interview with Yahoo he said
Matthieu is indispensable. He has been given a role he has never had before. Didier has allowed him a lot of freedom to move around and animate the flow of the game, but he knows that he has to get out to a flank if we lose the ball. He is an extraordinarily giving person on the pitch.
Obviously there are also negatives to signing Valbuena. He is 29 years old and would have next to no resale value, and will only be able to perform for us at the top level for a few years. However he would never be a long term replacement for Cazorla, but if the transfer deadline was approaching he could surely be a good short term option.
What do you Gooners think? Would you welcome Valbuena to the club?