Mathieu Flamini is leaving for Galatasaray, Mikel Arteta is not the player he was, and Francis Coquelin cannot do it alone. These are the numerous reasons you will hear as to why Arsenal fans are so desperate for a defensive midfielder. Sadly though that desperation doesn’t seem reciprocated amongst the management, and sadly despite my positivity about this side, I cannot see Arsenal winning the league without one. But hoping that they will, here are some of the options:
A player Arsene Wenger has admired for a while, the German midfielder could add some dynamism to the role. Having Champions League experience already under his belt from his time with Bayer Leverkusen, Bender is known as an out and out defnsive minded player and could be the perfect fit to allow Arsenal’s more creative players to get forward. There was talk of an £18 million pound bid back in June (via Independent) however there are also rumours of an approach from LVG. So if this is to happen it may need to happen fast.
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Carvalho has just inspired Portugal’s Under 21s to the European Championships final, and his stock is rising. That said Arsenal are an appealing club and most jump at the opportunity to move to the Premier league. Though there is yet again reported interest from Old Trafford, Carvalho could pose a long term challenge to Francis Coquelin and could be a great replacement for the departing Mathieu Flamini. There may be issues over the price though, with Sporting Lisbon not willing to part with the player for less than 30 million euros. His recent injury will also not help matters with suggestions he will spend the next three months on the treatment table (via Telegraph)- sounds like the perfect Arsenal signing!
The player forever linked to the Premier League, Joao Moutinho has been courted by Chelsea since the late 00’s, and the likes of Liverpool, Manchester Utd, Tottenham and Arsenal have been on top of that ever since. So whether there is something stopping the transfer behind the scenes I do not know, but one thing that is for sure is that he is a ready made Arteta replacement. Though I do not personally believe that is what we need, I would prefer an anchor man, Moutinho is undoubtedly a class act and would not go a miss at the Emirates.
A less well known option, Adrien Rabiot poses another young approach. Just 20 years old the PSG midfielder like William Carvalho would create an interesting long term battle with Francis Coquelin for the starting position, and given his experience at another big club he could be a really good addition to the squad. There has been much talk of how his mother wants him to leave PSG this summer, with her reportedly coming to see Wenger last summer. For all intents and purposes it seems like if he does leave Paris, Arsenal would be the likely destination for the tall box to box player.
A quirky alternative, why not promote from within? Even though the guy is incredibly inexperienced and only played one Europa League game while at Legia Warsaw along with a handful of league games, Krystian is obviously talented. Watching clips of his time at Arsenal so far in the youth teams shows he is not afraid to get stuck in and funnily enough has a strange talent for dribbling, especially given his size. An unorthodox approach but one which could potentially turn out to be inspired, after all why was he bought if not to eventually be given a chance? It worked with Coquelin.
Who would you prefer Gooners?