Jose Mourinho just does not stop. After a disappointing Champions League semi final exit ‘The Special One’ wrapped up his first La Liga crown (Real’s first in four years). Now he’s set his sights on summer spending.
Reports state that Mourinho already has his sights set on Premier League talent. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal look set for a summer swoop by Los Blancos with Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen the specific targets.
The former Chelsea boss is looking for someone to anchor his midfield of superstars, whilst Vermaelen is also attractive as an option in an aging back four.
Yet the real question is, are the pair really Galacticos? Let’s not forget that Real are currently in the second era of President Florentino Perez who initially coined the phrase ‘Galacticos’ with the arrivals of Zidane, Beckham, Figo and Ronaldo.
Whilst the two players certainly play an important role in an Arsenal side that sits in 3rd in the Barclays Premier League with 2 games remaining, whether they have enough glitz and glamour for Perez remains to be seen.
Yet put aside the questions of a ‘wow’ factor. One has to wonder whether the duo is good enough for Madrid. Whilst Song has certainly been a stalwart for the Gunners this season, Arsenal fans will remember that this was not always the case. His early appearances in an Arsenal shirt were far from convincing.
Despite vast improvements since the 2008 African Cup of Nations, one has to wonder whether the 24 year old Cameroon international will be able to cope under the pressure of being a Madrid player.
Vermaelen’s story is different. A product of the famed Ajax Academy, the Belgian joined Arsenal in 2009 and has been an important piece of Arsene Wenger’s defence. His robust, no nonsense style of play saw him adapt to the English game quickly.
However, questions could also be asked about how he would adapt to the Bernabeu spotlight and the slower Spanish style of play. In addition, Mourinho has no immediate need at centre back as only Ricardo Carvalho is over 30. Yet with a side built on attacking talent, another defensive option couldn’t go amiss.
However with a need for a midfield presence and the allure of a strong centre back, whether the Arsenal duo is suitable is still questionable. Mourinho has also been linked to Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, who may be a more attractive young talent for him to possess behind his plethora of attacking talent.
Vermaelen’s bullish ability in the centre of the defence makes him the more attractive of the two, yet with Pepe 29 and Raul Albiol 26 again Mourinho may be better searching for youth at the position.
Overall it boils down to whether the two have what it takes to cope in Madrid. Both Vermaelen and Song certainly possess the ability to develop into world class players. Yet both players have only recently completely adapted to the English game, arousing questions about how quickly they could be a force for Madrid if they were signed.
Furthermore, both players are relatively inexperienced and have not won major domestic or European honours during their time at Arsenal, something which may worry Mourinho.
With no disrespect intended towards either player, Song and Vermaelen are not of the standard for a developing Real Madrid. Despite both players blossoming of late, the Special One should look to more established holding midfielders and a more technically adept defender as Real look to defend their title in the 2012/2013 season.
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