Rumours emanating from the newspapers this weekend strongly link Arsenal with Manchester City veteran Gareth Barry, who is currently keeping his head above water at Everton on loan.
The former England midfielder – dropped, never to return, after a disappointing 2010 World Cup – has proven a major hit on Merseyside for his resolute capability to retain possession, break down opposition attacks and pick the occasional neat pass.
Now, these three qualities are highly commendable in any midfielder, but surely they are just that. There is nothing particularly special in Barry’s play; he is just a slightly above average Premier League footballer.
This is why plenty of Arsenal fans in the bet365 football betting world have voiced their disappointment the Gunners are chasing the 32-year-old, once tipped to be England’s next Paul Scholes who has turned out to be the modern-day Jermain Wright.
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Barry isn’t bad and, judging by our performance against Liverpool last weekend, we need competition for the defensive midfield position. Mathieu Flamini cannot do it alone, and with Mikael Arteta’s age and Abou Diaby persistently injured, we need competition.
The problem is Barry isn’t all that great either. Chasing the former Aston Villa star suggests Arsene Wenger is content with his current midfield and just requires cover – while the majority of us fans and football betting punters know we need an improvement in quality.
Wenger moved to Kim Kallstrom rather than signing a big name in January and that failed, yet a glance across London proves what must be done if we’re to win future titles. Jose Mourinho saw his weak midfield flounder early this season and so bought Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah in the transfer window. This move has worked, as Chelsea’s rampant midfield has proven recently.
If Barry is the best we’re chasing this summer Arsenal can wave goodbye to any further title challenge. While his experience would be most welcome in the squad his legs are questionable – and a championship-winning side simply do not sign someone in the autumn of their career.