Football FanCast guest columnist Will Mitchell would like to see Arsene Wenger snap up Carles Puyol, to bring some much needed experience to the team.
I have to admit that one player who over the years I have despised, yet respected watching, then it has to be Barcelona and Spain's Carles Puyol.
Puyol reminds me of an English defender of old, cut very much from the same cloth as the likes of an Adams and Keown in that he is wholehearted, tough as they come, and is prepared to stick his head in the way of anything if it meant preventing a goal. Although he is known for his theatrics at times (which completely riles me) he does possess all the right defensive traits that makes him a top class defender; I am of the view that he doesn't perhaps get the plaudits he deserves and seems underrated, which I find strange considering what he has achieved in the game.
With Puyol what you see is what you get and is extremely uncomplicated. He isn't blessed with great footballing gifts and doesn't possess the kind of distribution as a defender that you would get from a Vermaelen or a Rio Ferdinand of this world, but you don't really need that, especially when you can compensate for that in other ways. Puyol is as strong as they come and more importantly is an excellent leader of men and an organiser of a defence, hence why he has been the mainstay of the Barca defence for so long.
It appears Puyol's time at the Nou Camp is coming to a close as he falls victim to Barca's rather stringent policy about offering contracts to players that are over 30. Puyol's contract is up at the end of the season and the talk in Spain is that it is unlikely to be renewed; therefore he'll be available on a Bosman free. We and City are apparently interested in him and if I was Arsene Wenger I wouldn't hesitate in making an approach, as he is extremely versatile, can play anywhere across the backline and could become that leader we are crying out for in that team.
It is very rare that Wenger would ever consider making a move for a player of such an age, but how often does a player of Puyol's experience come on the market and is available on a free transfer? His versatility means he can solve a host of deficiencies within our squad defensively, but the most important trait he would bring is that he is a proven winner who knows what it takes to win the games top prizes, both domestically and internationally. It is an ingredient that is missing greatly in this Arsenal team and dressing room and something that will benefit our squad no end.
Would you like to see Carles Puyol at Arsenal?