Arsenal transfers: Five midfielders Arsene Wenger should target
Niall Griffiths comes up with a shortlist of five midfielders Arsenal should target in the summer transfer window
In light of a £20m bid from Manchester United being rejected, just as the deal looked to be imminent, Arsenal could still have a chance of signing Morgan Schneiderlin – even if it’s an outside chance. Arsene Wenger would have to be willing to fork out more than what United offered but what they would be getting is one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders, with his home-grown status an alluring added bonus. Schneiderlin enjoyed another stellar season for Southampton, continuing the solid partnership formed with Victor Wanyama during the 2013-14 season. The midfielder loves a challenge, whether it be on the ground or in the air, and this has got him into trouble at times but the pros outweigh the cons. If Arsenal were to somehow prise this deal away from United, it would be a great signal of intent for the London club.
Regarded as one of the best holding midfielders in La Liga, Sevilla’s lynchpin proved integral as his side finished just shy of the Champions League spots last season. At 6ft 1ins and of a decent build, Krychowiak would add real physical presence to an Arsenal midfield that is largely composed of smaller and more nimble players. He is one of many tough tacklers that Arsenal need to target to compete with the resurgent Francis Coquelin. A £12m bid from Southampton was rejected earlier in the year by Sevilla, who are keen to keep hold of the man they bought from Stade de Reims for a now eye-wateringly low price of £3.5m last summer – however the player does have a £21m release clause, so should Arsene Wenger rise to meet that valuation then he has the chance to sign a quality holding midfielder with plenty of years ahead of him.
Perhaps the biggest name on the list, the midfield maestro is arguably at the peak of his powers at 29 and with only a year left remaining on his current deal, a move away appears to be plausible. While Arsenal have been mainly linked with teammate Arturo Vidal, a move for Marchisio appears to be a more realistic prospect due to contract talks apparently stalling. Having won the Serie A with Juventus for the fourth consecutive year, he may be looking for pastures new, having spent nine years in Turin. The Italian is a versatile player most-suited in the middle of the pitch as an energetic box-to-box midfielder, but he has featured in a deeper role on a number of occasions for his club as well as out wide on either flank. Boasting a great pedigree, being an established international and a seasoned Champions League veteran, Marchisio would be a marquee signing for the Gunners which would further solidify the heart of the squad.
The Bender twins, Lars and Sven, have been consistently linked with Arsenal for the last few years, and if either of them are to move this summer it would be the latter. The commanding Borussia Dortmund man has two years left on his current deal and, after BVB’s disappointing campaign last season, might be looking for a new challenge – and where better than at Arsenal, a team that looks to be on the right track after years of being in the doldrums. If Bender were to pay the £20m plus that Dortmund quote Bender as being worth, they would be getting a keen tackler and physical presence with an eye for a pass and with Dortmund entering the uncertain post-Klopp era, now might be the best time for Arsenal to pounce.
The 23-year old enjoyed a good year as he broke into both the Sporting Lisbon side and the Portuguese national team. He also helped his country’s Under-21 side to the European championship final where they lost on penalties, with William Carvalho missing one. Despite this he was voted player of the tournament, quite a feat for a defensive midfielder. Carvalho’s physicality speaks for itself – at over six feet tall and with an impressive physical build, the Angolan-born anchor is a real presence on the field. He is also good at distributing the ball from deep, and would fit well into Arsenal’s pass-focused mechanic. He is by no means Patrick Vieira but one can see similarities – Arsene Wenger helped mould the prolific Frenchman, perhaps he could do the same for Carvalho.