Arsenal have enjoyed a thoroughly promising opening to the season under Unai Emery, but there has been one notable dark spot to note: the breakdown in negotiations with Aaron Ramsey over a new contract.
After almost eight years with the club it seems inevitable that Ramsey will depart Arsenal next summer. Following a summer of speculation regarding his future, the BBC confirmed last month that Arsenal had withdrawn the offer of a new deal.
Although Arsenal refused to state the reason for their decision, it would be fair to assume that Ramsey has either indicated his desire to leave or that the club are unwilling to meet his wage demands.
Either way it seems that another era is coming to an end in north London, and Sven Mislintat will now need to work in conjunction with Unai Emery to identify a worthy replacement.
Mislintat has proven during his relatively short stint with the club that his strong Bundesliga connections make the elite tier of German football an attractive place to consider for potential new signings, and with that thinking in mind he should return to Germany for a player who came through Tottenham’s academy, namely Nabil Bentaleb.
The Algeria international was regarded as one of the brightest players to emerge from Tottenham’s academy just a few seasons ago, but he struggled to make an impression under Mauricio Pochettino.
Bentaleb is now plying his trade for Schalke in the Bundesliga after he completed a £17.1 million switch in July 2017, and his eye-catching performances have suggested that Spurs were foolish to let him go.
A technical playmaker by nature, Bentaleb has showcased his complete midfield qualities since leaving north London, with controlled aggression and a natural ability to influence the game in the final-third making him one to watch in Germany’s top-flight.
A record of 13 goals and 8 assists from 73 appearances suggests that he possesses the ability to slot into Ramsey’s shoes and provide goals from midfield, despite his failure to make it with Arsenal’s bitter London rival.
There was a suggestion that Bentaleb was too lightweight when he first broke through the ranks at Tottenham, but he has since bulked up and become a better all-round talent rather than just a tidy-looking ball-player.
The 23-year-old midfielder still has plenty of improving to do this season to merit a switch to Arsenal and there are question marks surrounding his record with injuries, but he is certainly a player who Mislintat should be keeping a close eye on this season and recommending to Emery as the senior pair plan for a future without the Welsh wizard.
Arsenal fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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