29 June 2015

Jilted by Schneiderlin, who can shield Arsenal from further heartbreak?

We another guest-author today, Jonathan Roberts, who offers his analysis of whom we might turn to now that it looks like Schneiderlin has slipped away. Whether Arsène dithered or decided against him is beside the point for now, Roberts reminds us that there are still options. Take it away!

Back in February Arsenal legend Martin Keown made the somewhat staggering claim “Arsenal do not need a new defensive midfielder”. To put it simply, he’s wrong. Yes, Coquelin has been a revelation, but he needs cover. The squad needs greater depth in that area. This would help the more expressive players to have greater freedom. After the signing of Özil, I remember reading a blog by Sam Tighe on how it would revolutionise Wenger’s plans and tactics. It seems that without more defensive midfield cover I can’t see how this would happen. Here then is a list of defensive midfield candidates and why Arsenal should—or should not—sign...

William Carvalho
Sporting need to sell him to balance the books. Wenger loves a bargain. A match made in heaven? Not just yet. The star, who at 23 did just inspire Portugal U21’s to the final, was below par last season. Although his physical attributes have kept many clubs interested, pundits have started to question his technical ability. If there is one thing Wenger loves…it’s technical ability!

Arturo Vidal
Everyone knows that since Vieira left, Arsenal have been crying out for a physical presence. This is what Vidal would bring, especially since recovering from his major injury after the World Cup. The Chilean would be a great fit and one that would prove that the penny has finally dropped with Wenger. His high-energy style could see Arsenal turn into a pressing team off the ball, something we can all tell Sanchez is eager to see. A more-physical, higher energy, pressing Arsenal with their current technical ability would be a frightening prospect.

Yohan Cabaye
Please, not Cabaye! OK, I’m just going to come out and say it…I’m not an actual Arsenal fan. If you want,  feel free tocome find me @missingstuds and say how angry you are! I do, however, admire the way you play under Wenger. I admire your style, but if Arsenal are to start winning more trophies Cabaye is not the defensive midfielder you need. Here’s why:
  1. He failed in France.
    Arsenal tried to sign him for £10m, instead he went to PSG for £19m. Yes, he was a top player in the EPL, but he has not done well in Ligue 1. You should be way past buying other club’s rejects (I don’t think that’s true when it comes to Čech. That’s actually a good signing!)
  2. He’s not a traditional DM.
    Arsenal need a traditional defensive midfielder. Cabaye doesn’t fit the bill. Arsenal do not need another technically gifted midfielder. As a result Arsenal do not need Cabaye. But watch this space, for we all know Cabaye is the sort of player that Wenger admires.
Lars Bender
This is a top player who is quickly appearing on the radars of Europe’s best clubs. He possesses lots of stamina and energy, coupled with an endless work rate. He also has great technical ability, making him a great fit for Arsenal. Bender could be one of the shrewdest signings of the summer. At only 24, he still has time to develop. Last season, he helped Bayern Leverkusen finish third in the Bundesliga and in doing this has become one of this rising stars of German football.

The names that have been linked with Arsenal are endless, but if I was an Arsenal fan I would be hoping it is Lars Bender who comes to the Emirates, certainly not Cabaye.  

Thanks, Jonathan, for that rundown. Readers, take him up on his invitation and follow @missingstuds and visit his blog, Missing Studs Football. Before you go, though, who among these players would best suit our needs? Share your thoughts in the comments-section below…