After showing so much promise towards the end of last season, it was widely agreed that with a couple of quality signings Arsenal would be challenging for the Premier League this season.
However, with less than 24 hours of the summer transfer window remaining, the Gunners have had a very low key summer with just Petr Cech moving to the Emirates.
Cech is one of the best keepers in the world and will of course improve the side, but it is not enough to win them the league.
Unfortunately, manager Arsene Wenger is adamant that his side do not need to sign this kind of player. The Frenchman is a massive fan of his current first choice Francis Coquelin, and believes he is the only player he needs.
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Since he broke into the first team last season, Coquelin has been a revelation, fast becoming one of the most influential members of the team. And his manager firmly believes his statistics rank amongst some of the best in Europe.
However, Wenger is crazy to rule out signing a holding midfielder this summer. The Gunners don’t have a quality replacement should the French midfielder become unavailable due to injury or suspension.
When you look at the other top sides in the league, all have several options that are more than capable of filling the role. Chelsea have Matic, Ramires and Mikel. Man City have Yaya Toure, Fernando and Fernandinho. Whilst United have Blind, Carrick and Schneiderlin.
Arsenal are taking a real unnecessary risk by not doing the same.
And the answer to their problems is Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama. He would give Arsenal the replacement for Patrick Vieira they have long sought after.
The Kenyan midfielder is reportedly looking to leave St Mary’s in a bid to further his career and would reportedly be interested in a move to the Emirates.
Wanyama is the big, physical presence in the middle of the park that Arsenal have been lacking for years. His physique would be vital to the aerial battles Coquelin, Wilshere and Cazorla all struggle to deal with due to their lack of height.
What sets Wanyama apart from his rivals is the 24-year-old is not just there to win tackles, but he is also comfortable on the ball, happy to take possession and start up an attack. The perfect type of player for Arsenal’s philosophy.
Like all defensive midfielders, his work often goes unnoticed, but the former Celtic player was the secret behind Morgan Schneiderlin’s success at the Saints in recent seasons.
He did a lot of the simple work, intercepting the ball and laying it off to his midfield partner who could start an attacking move. He sat back covering the defence, allowing Schneiderlin to have a free role and dictate play from the centre of the park.
Just imagine the effect this would have if he played alongside the little Spanish wizard Santi Cazorla in the double pivot of Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Giving such an influential player a free role would work wonders for Arsenal’s attack, without leaving the defence vulnerable.
Wenger is not going to get a better opportunity to sign a proven, top quality holding midfielder than this. A decision like this could be the difference between success and failure at the Emirates Stadium.