Liverpool have made it pretty clear that Raul Meireles will be sold if the right price is offered for the explosive midfielder.
Having rejected a swap offer from Juventus involving Brazilian star Felipe Melo, Liverpool have shocked everyone by saying that Meireles is up for sale for around £13.5 million.
The reason why this is such a surprise is because the Portuguese midfielder had a really good first season in the Premier League. Being the only good signing made by Roy Hodgson, Liverpool’s readiness to sell the midfielder despite his good showing is surprising. But a deeper look at it will show that there is some sense in it.
The Reds want to get rid of any deadwood in their team (not Meireles in my opinion) and build a young team for the future.
Liverpool are also chasing Charlie Adam, and with Henderson too in the fray, the midfield would not suffer with the departure of the former Porto man.
But will Arsenal gain something if they decide to sign Raul Meireles?
Well, the 28-year-old is not a bad player. He has given a good account of himself so far in the Premier League and was undoubtedly one of the on-field driving forces in Liverpool’s fantastic run towards the end of last season.
He had a respectable return of five goals and five assists, but those stats don’t tell the real story. He made sure Liverpool didn’t feel the absence of Gerrard, and replacing someone like the Liverpool captain is no mean task. Meireles also stepped up in the big games and provided bundles of energy for 90 minutes.
So, is he an option for Arsenal this summer?
He certainly will bring in heaps of experience having performed with distinction for Portugal and Porto at the very highest level. He can also bring a bit of unpredictability to our midfield, and if his goals last season were anything to go by, he can certainly score a few stunners as well.
He will regularly track back to defend and can play on the right wing if necessary. But, in my opinion, I don’t see him fitting into our team. The Portugal international hasn’t got the passing range that our expansive style of play demands. I do feel that he has a tendency to completely go off the radar sometimes and that simply wont do at The Emirates. Also, I believe he would find it difficult to adapt to our quick tempo and attacking play.
Arsene Wenger will also have a problem with him because of his age.
However, an attractive proposition is a swap deal – Clichy for Meireles – for both clubs to think about.
Liverpool would like to sign Clichy, and if Wenger does feel that Meireles is a worthwhile signing, then a deal involving both the players is on the cards this summer.
Clichy is valued at around £8 million, whilst Meireles is roughly rated at £13 million. So, in hindsight, Arsenal will probably have to pay an extra £3 million for him. I have taken out the £2 million purely because if this deal happens, Wenger’s negotiation skills will surely reduce a few bucks.
This is an option that I don’t think has been considered yet, but cannot be ruled out – it would certainly suit both parties and the players as well.
Personally, I think Arsenal should stay away from Meireles because I don’t want us to sign a player who is surplus to requirements at our rivals. It would be a sign of desperation on our part and will create a negative image of the club.
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