When Arsenal are on song, they’re capable of producing results like their recent emphatic 4-1 win over Everton. On their day, the Gunners’ midfield is able to overrun the opposition and provide enough fire-power to undo even the best that world football has to offer (see last season’s performance against Bayern Munich).
But when Arsenal aren’t performing well, their midfielders tend to overplay, knocking about one too many passes, trying to find gaps that aren’t there and running into cul-de-sacs. This is exactly what happened against Stoke City a couple of weeks back.
Suffice to say, the Gunners still struggle when the opposition sits back and invites pressure. When Arsenal can’t pass a team to death, they look like a team devoid of ideas. This is why Theo Walcott’s injury was so crushing for the Arsenal faithful: he provided a ‘Plan B’ and his pace could often turn a game on its head.
As such, I’d love to see Arsene Wenger make a move for another player in this mould. In particular, I’d like to see the Arsenal boss stop using central midfielders in wide positions. Imagine how effective this team could be if they had world-class options in every area of the pitch, playing in their favoured position.
As it happens, The Metro recently linked the Gunners to Atletico Madrid’s wing-wizard, Arda Turan. The Turkish ace has played a key role in driving Madrid up the La Liga table this season. His club are currently second in the Spanish League and they’re pushing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid all the way.
Turan, therefore, has very little reason to leave the club. Nor does he seem particularly interested in doing so, at least if you believe his agent:
“Arda will not leave Atletico. They are part of the title race and he is a key player. Arda plays for a big club and he will be part of Atletico’s success. We have received offers from English clubs. However, for now I would like to insist once more that Arda renewed his contract recently and wants to stay at Atletico.”
Pretty definitive, right? So why does he continue to get linked to Arsenal? Maybe it’s because his agent also said the following:
“[Arda] is interested in working under Arsene Wenger and Arda would like to play in England.”
So he’s happy at Madrid, but he also wants to play in England and under Arsene Wenger? Intriguing stuff.
You get the feeling that if Arsenal push and push, they could make some ground here. Madrid won’t let him go on the cheap, but he’s worth fighting for. He’ll provide Arsenal with a Plan B, even when Theo Walcott isn’t available. He’ll give them craft and threat down the wings.
He may even transform them into a title winning side.
What’s your take? Can Arsenal really compete for Arda Turan?
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