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Could we sign Draxler — and get Vucinic and Tello on loan?

2.16K   //    30 Jan 2014, 10:34 IST
As the transfer-window rushes headlong to a close, the rumors are flying in all directions faster than a blind short-order cook with ADHD on crack can fling burgers. Everywhere one turns, it seems, there’s a new story out about who’s linked with who. Even as we adopt an attitude of healthy skepticism, it’s hard to resist the pervasiveness of one rumor and the more-recent appearance of two new ones—all three of them tantalizing, even if only one of them directly addresses our needs up top. To wit then, and in apparent order of interest, I submit to you a round-up of the three musketeers.
Cristian Tello, Barcelona
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 178cm
  • Weight: 65kg
  • Position(s): forward (left/right); attacking midfield (left/right).
  • Strengths: holding on to the ball, through balls, key passes, dribbling.
  • Weaknesses: aerial duels, defensive contributions
  • Odds: betvictor puts us at 4/1, behind Liverpool’s 1/5.
The case for him: Simply put him, he’s fighting for playing time in a crowded area, with only two starts to his name. Ahead of him in the pecking order at Barcelona are no fewer than six other players, depending on how Barca lines up: Messi, Pedro, Sanchez, Iniesta, Neymar, and Fabregas. He’s clearly become extraneous to manager Gerardo Martino despite doing quite well when given a chance. His best appearances have come in the Copa del Rey, where he’s had three starts, played all 90′, and notched a hat-trick and an assist in each of the other two matches. Not too shabby. He’s young enough to probably want more playing time; he’s been with the club long enough to have won silverware from the bench, and his familiarity with Barca’s style would help him adjust to Arsenal‘s similarly fluid attacking style.
The case against him: he’s essentially another crafty midfielder, standing similar in height to Wilshere or Walcott, and, while it’s interesting to ponder the idea of a starting XI that consists of crafty little midfielders who can dart around, passing and dribbling and whatnot, at some point, we’re arguably in fine shape in that area even with various knocks and niggles. This is not to say that I oppose a loan. As the only move of the window, I’d be sorely disappointed. The attacking midfield is easily among the lowest priorities that we have to address, after (in my opinion) striker, right-back, defensive midfield, and perhaps center-back. He’s cup-tied, for what that’s worth, having played (and scored) against in the second leg against Celtic back in the Champions League group-stage.
Long story short: Why not? A loan would cost next to nothing and would add some reinforcements over the course of the season. And, hey, if it turned into a longer-term arrangement, that’s fine with me as well. We’ve been after him for a few years now and could probably sign him for £10m or so.
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