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

Modified 30 Jun 2015
Francis Coquelin Arsenal
Can Arsenal rely on Francis Coquelin next season as well?

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, Francis 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 Mesut Özil, I remember reading a blog by Sam Tighe on how it would revolutionise Arsene 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 and 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 is technical ability.

Arturo Vidal

Arturo Vidal Juventus Arsenal
Will Wenger splash the cash to brin Arturo Vidal from Juventus to Arsenal?

Everyone knows that since Patrick 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 2014 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 Alexis 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! I am just going to come out and say it. I’m not an actual Arsenal fan. I do, however, admire the way they play under Wenger. I admire the team’s style, but if Arsenal are to start winning more trophies Cabaye is not the defensive midfielder you need. Here’s why:

  • 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 ?ech. That’s actually a good signing!)
  • 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 a lot of stamina and energy, coupled with an endless work rate. He also has great technical ability, making him a great fit for Arsenal.

Lars Bender Arsenal
Lars Bender would be Arsenal’s best bet this summer

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 the rising stars of German football.

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

Written by guest author Jonathan Roberts

Published 30 Jun 2015
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