Arsene Wenger must be really feeling the effect of failing to win a trophy in the last seven and a half years.
Arsenal used to dominate the English league, were known as “The Invincibles” in the 03/04 season going the whole campaign unbeaten, attracting players such as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas. Now they are being linked with a £10 million bid for Liverpool flop Stewart Downing according to the Daily Mail.
Downing has never locked down a regular starting place at Anfield after falling out of favour with Bredon Rogers and has even been shunted to left back in recent weeks, featuring in the Europa League mostly, only making a couple of starts and coming off the bench three times in the premier league.
If Wenger gains the services of the 28 year old he might have to part with Theo Walcott, who would go the other way in a swap deal, the Daily Mail believe.
With Wenger coming under increasing pressure to deliver success, this may anger some fans at the Emirates, who want to see more players with the caliber of Santi Cazorla on their side of North London, especially with the club reporting financial profits.
The Arsenal gaffer might see Downing as two players in one as he is able to play all down the left side. With the problems he has at left back; Kieran Gibbs being injury prone and his lack of faith in Andre Santos, that only leaves his centre back captain Thomas Vermaelen to play there, making players like Downing desirable; but is he really the standard of player Arsenal should be linked with?
When Downing is on form he has one of the best left feet in the country, and Wenger will be looking to that to feed Olivier Giroud in and around the box, but can the Englishman really get back to the high standards he set at Middlesborough which got him his first England cap back in 2005.
He would add much wanted balance to the left hand side if he played in a more attacking role, as there isn’t a natural left winger at the club. Lucas Poldolski applies his trade in that position at the moment and has fitted in quite well, but he can’t deliver a cross like Downing can on his day , and he will stay out wide if needed, unlike the German, who is more of a striker.
We’ve seen what a change of position on the left can do for a player in North London, Gareth Bale transforming himself into one of the best left sided attacking players in the world at White Hart Lane and Arsene will want the same from Downing if he pulls on the Arsenal shirt.
Dyer: Was a good replacement for Routledge, almost straight swap. Provided great pace and a threat going forward. Score 6.5.