Arsenal are still very keen on landing Brazilian star Felipe Melo this summer, so much so that the North London club are willing to throw in Gael Clichy into the deal. However, is it an ideal transaction for Wenger to take, lose Clichy’s services in order to gain Melo’s?
Arsene Wenger is eager to add to his current squad ahead of the upcoming season and has identified Melo as one of his main targets who could potentially solidify the Gunners midfield.
The 27-year-old Juventus midfielder signed for the Serie A side last summer for an estimated £25 million from Fiorentina. However, the Brazilian international is tipped to leave the club this summer following a torrid season last year which did start off brightly for the midfielder. Melo featured in the World Cup for Brazil this summer and displayed some fine performances which would have warranted and rekindled Wenger’s interest in the defensive midfielder. Juventus are currently seeking a left-back to reinforce their defence for the forthcoming season, which has no doubt encouraged Wenger to offer Arsenal favourite Gael Clichy for Melo in a possible straight swap deal during the summer window.
Gael Clichy is arguably one of the best full-backs in the Premier League and is amongst the best in world, as well as that, Clichy is an intricate part of Arsenal’s line up and has been since the departure of Ashley Cole in 2006. The 25-year-old has been with the North London club for 7 years and is most definitely loved by the Arsenal faithful, so to lose him this summer would be foolish on Wenger’s part. If the proposed deal were to fabricate, Arsenal would be left with Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore as the only two established left full-backs in the squad.
Armand Traore is a decent left-back, but has been given mixed reviews from the Arsenal faithful as well as pundits last season. The 20-year-old Frenchman possesses the ability to become a really good player for the club, but something seems to be missing in his game. Many would argue that Traore can take Clichy’s place if he were to depart this summer.
The emergence of Gibbs into the first-team in the last two seasons may have surprised Wenger and Arsenal fans alike, as to how well he actually performed. Kieran Gibbs produced some wonderful displays in the left-back position (when of course Clichy was absent) which no doubt won over a number of fans and impressed his manager as well. Although young, Gibbs understands his role. Originally, the England U21 is an accomplished left winger by trade. However, the 20-year-old seems to be settling into his new role brilliantly. The full-back has great pace, loves to bomb forward, and possesses stamina in abundance. Undoubtedly, Kieran Gibbs is certainly in the future plans of the club.
Wenger may of course be swayed to take the proposed deal involving Clichy and Melo this summer, purely for the fact that the Frenchman has a talented and enthusiastic youngster in Gibbs waiting in the wings. However, a majority of the Arsenal faithful may see it from a different angle.
A number of them (fans) may be shocked to hear such a proposed deal which could take place this summer, especially taking into account that the North London club do boast a lot of options in midfield and only three left-backs. Many will feel that Wenger needs to keep hold of Clichy for at least one or two more seasons as his protégés Gibbs and Traore may be unable (at a young age) to cope with the pressure of a full season.
Undeniably, Melo would make a great addition to the squad, but many would argue that he is a must buy player this summer. Where would the Brazilian midfielder fit into the team, considering the fact that Arsenal already acquire and utilize Alex Song as their main anchor-man in midfield. Arsenal fans, Is it really worth landing the Juventus midfielder at the expense of losing one of your club’s best performers in Gael Clichy? Or is it time to release the Frenchman in order to install Kieran Gibbs as Arsenal’s next left-back?
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