N’Zonzi and Torreira would finally give Arsenal a proper spine

Arsenal have reportedly entered talks to sign Steven N’Zonzi, and the Sevilla hard man could be the perfect man to add some muscle to Arsenal’s midfield.

What’s the story?

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are in talks with Sevilla over a summer swoop for N’Zonzi, who is currently away on World Cup duty with France.

The 29 year-old, who has already played in the Premier League with Stoke, has been a huge hit in La Liga for Sevilla.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have already made summer switches to North London, and the Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Sampdoria’s Lucas Torreira.

The departure of Jack Wilshere means they might not stop with Torreira though, and N’Zonzi could be the perfect man to partner the tenacious little Uruguayan.

The perfect midfield duo?

Arsenal had plenty of problems in the later stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign, but undoubtedly the biggest factor in the Frenchman’s downfall was the lack of a spine.

Fans and media outlets have bashed the Gunners’ defence endlessly in recent years, but the need for a proper backbone runs right through the team, not just in defence. Signing both Torreira and N’Zonzi could be the perfect way to fix this, and could also be very bad news for Granit Xhaka.

Xhaka is technically excellent and a wonderful passer, but his poor discipline and lapses of concentration while tracking back have cost the Gunners plenty of goals in the last two seasons, and N’Zonzi would fix these mistakes.

The towering Frenchman is not the gifted passer Xhaka is, but he is an absolute monster in the middle of the park, breaking up opposition attacks and giving other players the freedom to attack.

Valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, the six-cap Frenchman won nearly four aerial duels per game last season. By comparison, Xhaka averaged 1.3 per game in the Premier League.

N’Zonzi is an excellent reader of the game, and his first instinct is always to defend. The Gunners already have tons of flair going forward with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, so adding a player with his mind-set would be a shrewd move from Unai Emery, and something that Wenger failed to do in his final years.


If Torreira is going to bring energy, tenaciousness and tidy passing to North London, N’Zonzi will add steel, power and intelligence. The pair would make the Gunners far more solid, and could be the end of Xhaka as a starter.

So, Arsenal fans, what do you think about the links to N’Zonzi? Should he start alongside Torreira next season? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…