Arsenal are believed to be interested in lodging a bid for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as Arsene Wenger looks to secure his first winter acquisition.
The Metro are referencing a report from Spain (which, after some translating, references suggestions from the Mirror) so there is little in the actual rumour, but it poses an interesting question whether a versatile midfielder such as Gundogan is better pursued than the 17-year-old Krystian Bielik whose signing appears imminent.
The Gunners have been linked with the German international for some years and were last week linked with a move for the Dortmund star. The reports are suggesting talks are leading toward a £15.6million offer for the player who is slowly winding down his deal with the struggling Bundesliga giants.
It is thought the two clubs will have representatives meet to discuss a deal for the 24-year-old before the close of the transfer window, however considering the situation at Dortmund it appears they will be highly hesitant about letting anyone leave as they fight to turn their season around.
Gundogan is a box-to-box midfielder who can also operate just in front of the back four but is also creative when it comes to the final third. He is a fine reader of the game, able to both stay on his feet to intercept passes and is strong in the tackle. He is known to be a visionary in possession and can dictate a game’s tempo with real authority and has a decent shot on him too.
This season he’s made 4 appearances in the Champions League with a passing accuracy of an impressive 91% which is better than Arteta’s 89% but Flamini takes the cake with 92% in the UCL this season (both Arsenal players managed 3 and 5 appearances respectively in the European competition). Gundogan managed an impressive 241 passes in his four appearances, far superior to Arteta’s 178 considering they have both played the same amount of minutes.
This is certainly testament to the way Dortmund play and suggests Gundogan could quite easily integrate into Arsenal’s passing game. His defensive statistics are also quite good having won 4 tackles (on par with Arteta) but managed less interceptions with Flamini and Arteta both bettering the German. While these are purely just statistics, Gundogan is a highly thought of midfielder within the Dortmund set-up and would be a potential upgrade on Arsenal’s deep lying midfield options.
Should we buy?
While Gundogan is an exciting talent on his day, he has yet to break into the top bracket of midfielders in Germany mainly due to injury. Others such as Lars Bender has been regularly linked with the Gunners but he also has yet to prove his ability on a consistent level.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Moussa Sissoko are potentially better and cheaper options, with the former a specialist defensive midfielder – exactly what we need. Gundogan is not necessarily a specialist in the position but, like Arteta, has the ability to anchor the midfield. For around the £16m mark it wouldn’t be a bad shout, but with the season going the way it is for Dortmund they cannot afford any exits especially in January. There is little chance Jurgen Klopp will be selling in January anyway, if he had six months left on his deal then perhaps but not 18.
It appears Bielik may be our only midfield signing this January I’m sorry to say. With Francis Coquelin performing very well, Flamini and Ramsey back in the mix not to mention Arteta closing in on a return it is likely Wenger will keep with what he has and look to sign someone in the summer.
Rumour Rater: 2/5
1 – Never going to happen
2 – Unlikely
3 – Could be possible
4 – Likely
5 – Done deal
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