Know Arsène's Targets: Four Box to Box Hard Men for Arsenal
Over the past few days, Arsenal have been linked with holding midfielders left and right, following news that Abou Diaby’s return has been extended to 2013. It comes as no surprise that papers have fed off the news, and in turn have talked up every midfielder who fits the bill. There are many players who would suit our needs, but which can be considered realistic?
1. Victor Wanyama
A powerful presence in the middle, the Kenyan is known for his driving runs, aerial prowess and goalscoring ability. With 6 goals in 25 games, Wanyama is a tidy finisher from midfield. The 21 year old represents good value for money as well, with an estimated worth of less than £4m, he’s got plenty of time to improve his game without the pressure of a huge price tag and superstar status. While not necessarily a holding midfielder for Celtic, he has the physique and technique to play just about anywhere in midfield. He has already shown his more defensive side in the Champions League, averaging just over 4 tackles per match. A solid, versatile option for a reasonable price.
2. Luiz Gustavo
Despite there being no truth the rumor doing the rounds, the Brazilian man could be a good option, should Wenger set his sights. The Bayern man is currently on the mend after undergoing groin surgery, which should see him out until the new year.. With a contract running until 2015, and a rumored £10m price tag, chances are slim we’ll ever see Gustavo in an Arsenal shirt. He plies his trade for a side which are 1st choice for the Bundesliga title, and is a preferred option to start, when fit. Don’t get your hopes up.
3. Kevin Strootman
A player who often goes under the radar, Kevin Strootman is a midfield everyman. Scoring 6 goals and 4 assists in 22 matches for PSV this season, the 22-year-old has shown he can do a bit of everything, even from a deep midfield position. One of the most interesting stats about Strootman is his doggedness in the Europa League, demonstrating his defensive abilities. In 3 matches, he has averaged just under 8 tackles per game. Most centre backs don’t manager 8 tackles in a match, let alone a midfielder. An exciting prospect who is estimated to cost just under £8m. Another brilliant bargain that Arsène surely can’t ignored.
4. Mohamed Diamé
Most Arsenal fans will remember his sensation goal he scored for West Ham against us in October, and will be excited to know that he has a £3.5m release clause tied to his contract. In 15 appearances, Diamé has bagged two goals, and struck up a terrific partnership with West Ham talisman Kevin Nolan. He averages just over 4 tackles per match and one interception. Diamé is built like tree trunk, and it shows in his play. There are very few players in the EPL who can muscle him off the ball, and Diamé takes full advantage of this. With a powerful shot and decent passing abilities (avg. 30 passes p/g), Diamé looks one of the best buys of the bunch, the bonus being he already has Premier League experience. The catch? Yesterday, he picked up a hamstring injury that West Ham have declared will keep him off the pitch for at least 12 weeks. That sounds like an awfully long time for a hamstring tear, I call smoke and mirrors and that one. I expect him back in time for the end of January at most, giving Arsène time to make up his mind.
So there you have it. Four midfielders who are rumored to join the Arsenal in January. Which one would you have and why? Hit me in the comments section below.