Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin has once again effectively declared that he will leave Southampton in the summer if the club fail to secure Champions League football.
The Saints have been the surprise package in this year’s top-four race, but it looks unlikely they will seriously challenge for European spots in the closing stages of the season after a drop in form in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Arsenal look well on course to reach Europe’s premier club competition for an 18th consecutive season.
Sky Sports report that we eyed a £25m a move in January but were possibly put off by the usual winter transfer window inflation to a player’s price.
However, given his latest quotes, it seems Arsenal would be foolish not to try again in the summer with Schneiderlin essentially saying it’s Champions League or he quits.
“In August, I wanted to take a move but the club had lost too many players to agree to sell me,” he said, reports L’Equipe.
“Since then I have had discussions with the leaders and I want to play at the highest level: it is important at 25 years old to finally know the Champions League.
“Given that, late in the season, Southampton may qualify for the Champions League and I can stay, who knows. I have no desire to be in front of my TV on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Simply put; we have to return and try to get him if we’re serious about our title ambitions next season.
Our season could have so easily turned into disaster if Francis Coquelin hadn’t turned out to be the miraculous and surprise package he has been.
Mikel Arteta’s fitness can no longer be trusted and given Matheiu Flamini’s deal expires this summer and there’s no suggestion an extension is being offered, it’s safe to say that ship has sailed.
With Coquelin tied down to a long-term deal and Arteta being offered a one-year extension to 2016, we need another man in the middle to provide competition, boost our numbers and work in tandem when the team needs a solid and defence minded wall in the centre.
Our new found robustness for big away games is a beautiful sight to behold but we can’t expect Coquelin to do it all himself – the man needs help!
Cazorla working as part of a two-man pivot has been an impressive system especially with the Spaniard’s lack of stature and strength negated by his fleet-footedness and ability to work his way out of most situations with his incredible ball retention.
But just think of games like Tottenham away or AS Monaco at home, where that double pivot has looked weak or ineffective and allowed our opponents to run riot through the middle unchallenged – Schneiderlin would solve that potential lack of protection.
But then again, it’s a deal that makes so much sense it’s probably the exact reason the club won’t do it! We never like to do things the easy way…