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In Focus: Arsenal target Carvalho is the defensive midfielder they have been lacking

According to reports in Portuguese media outlet A Bola, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been told that he must pay €40m (approximately £35.3m) if he wants to sign in demand Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

What’s the word, then?

Well, A Bola says that the Gunners want to agree a deal to sign the Portugal international before next summer’s World Cup before his value potentially goes up, but they face competition from Premier League rivals West Ham United and Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian for the 25-year-old’s signature.

The north London outfit know that they will have to pay at least £35.3m to get the defensive midfielder, and A Bola says that Sporting are only willing to let him go at the end of the season.

How has Carvalho done this season?

Despite the fact that he came close to leaving Sporting for West Ham during the summer transfer window, the 25-year-old hasn’t let it distract his performances for the Portuguese outfit this term.

The midfielder has made 15 appearances in all competitions – including in five of his side’s six Champions League group games – and he has even captained them on 11 of those occasions.

According to Squawka, Carvalho has proven his defensive capabilities by winning 14 aerial duels and making 19 clearances and 11 interceptions in 10 Liga NOS outings during the current campaign, while he has shown how comfortable he is in possession and at beating opponents with a passing accuracy of 88%, and having successfully completed 12 of the 16 take-ons he has attempted.

Would he be a good signing for Arsenal?

He certainly would be.

The Gunners have all too often come unstuck in the middle of the pitch and been easily caught out when they are chasing a goal, and Carvalho would provide a strong barrier in front of the back three or four that Arsenal have been lacking for some time.

The 25-year-old likes to sit deep and is disciplined from a positional sense – something that the likes of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey are not – while his strength on the ball should mean that he fits perfectly into the Gunners’ style of play.

While he could cost around £35m, it would be money well spent for the north London outfit and he could be one of the pieces of the jigsaw that they have been missing in recent years.

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Article title: In Focus: Arsenal target Carvalho is the defensive midfielder they have been lacking

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