It’s commonplace to see players dubbed the new ‘X’ or mooted as the player to fill ‘Y’s’ boots in the narrative driven world of the modern football. And today Arsenal have been linked with a certain Brazilian dubbed the ‘new Gilberto Silva’, who actually goes by the name of Romulo.
A Brazilian international plying his trade with Spartak Moscow, the 24-year-old has a decent reputation in Russian football and has attracted the likes of Liverpool in the past. Solid, albeit injury-prone, and young, it would appear that the Selecao star could be a good option for the Gunners in the long-run, but we here at FFC Towers think that the Londoners should be aiming a little higher.
With title aspiration and a craving for silverware at the Emirates Stadium, here are FIVE alternatives that may offer a little more than Romulo.
Ah, no shocks here then! Khedira is a player to have had his name aligned with Arsenal for much of the past few months, amid rumours that he’s actually desperate to become the Gunners’ latest German addition. A World Cup winner, the 27-year-old is believed to be available for as little as £10m – roughly the fee mooted for Romulo – in January, with Real Madrid keen to sell before his contract expires at the end of the season.
With bags of experience and know-how, Khedira seems to be the player Arsenal are crying out for. Able to operate in a defensive capacity, but skilful enough to contribute to the silky brand of football at the Emirates, this one’s a no-brainer, right?
From one German to another, Kramer is seen as the long-term successor to Khedira in the world champions’ set-up – which was illustrated when his started the World Cup Final in place of his injured compatriot over the summer. The 23-year-old is, perhaps, a more orthodox holding option than Khedira, with fans of the Bundesliga likely to vouch for his showings as a shield in front of his backline for the impressive Borussia Monchengladbach.
A fee in the region of £20m may be needed for Kramer – who is actually owned by Bayer Leverkusen – and he will not be available until the end of the season.
Manchester United chased the Chile star all summer only to be told that he was not available by Juventus, yet things have changed since then. Reports suggest that the 27-year-old is no longer ‘unsellable’ following some off-field dramas, and with the Red Devils now eyeing other targets, Arsenal could pounce.
Arguably the best box-to-box player on the planet, Vidal has the energy and drive the Gunners’ midfield is often accused of lacking, which could make him the ideal man to revamp Arsene Wenger’s XI. An international colleague of Alexis Sanchez, he could well be open to joining his compatriot in north London, yet he is likely to cost around £35m.
At 22, Carvalho is currently thought of as one of the very best young holding midfielders in European football. Already a full Portugal international, the Sporting CP ace has been linked with a move away from Lisbon for some time, yet his £37m release clause has deterred suitors, including Arsenal
However, his employers’ valuation is thought to have now dipped to around £20m due to the financial issues in Portuguese football, making him a much more cost effective option. Compared to Patrick Vieira by some for his powerful and rangy playing style, Carvalho looks like one to get while he’s still available.
At 28, Cabaye may not be a long-term option, but he’s a player that may tempt Wenger amid talk that all is not well at PSG. The former Newcastle star is said to be frustrated with his lack of playing time in Paris, which has led to talk of a January move back to England.
Arsenal came close to snapping up the silky playmaker last year before a late deal collapsed, showing that the Gunners boss is a big fan of the Les Bleus ace. With Premier League know-how, a fine range of passing and an eye for goal, Cabaye could be a great option for the Londoners.
Southampton’s ‘wantaway’ star has been one of the top performers of the season so far, putting his summer agitation for a move behind him to shine for the impressive Southampton under Ronald Koeman.
A January move has already been dismissed by the Frenchman, but and end of season transfer looks a possibility with the Saints’ early season form unlikely to be enough to secure them a top four berth due to the sheer quality of the competition – Arsenal included – around. Schneiderlin would appear to be an ideal fit at the Emirates Stadium given his playing style and potential, but Southampton’s £25m valuation may be a stumbling block.