Arsenal supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side’s miserable away run in 2018 continue courtesy of a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s men went into their clash with the Magpies off the back of drawing 2-2 with CSKA Moscow in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night, thus securing a 6-3 aggregate success to earn their spot in the last four. Yet the Gunners have failed to pick up any points in the Premier League on their travels in 2018, and that woeful run remained intact on Sunday as goals from Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie saw the Magpies come from behind to clinch all three points at St James’ Park, thus condemning Arsenal to a fifth successive Premier League away defeat.
Consequently, there have been many frustrated Gunners fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are growing increasingly concerned that their side may not even finish in the top six this season, what with in-form Burnley just two points behind them in seventh.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Arsenal fans to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that North London rivals Tottenham could seek to cash in on midfielder Mousa Dembele this summer, what with his contract up in 2019.
And the Gunners simply must seek to make an audacious move for the £16.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) this summer, as Dembele’s arrival would go some way to solving their obvious midfield problems.
Ultimately, it has been evident for many years now that Arsenal are seriously lacking a top quality central midfielder, the sort that can be industrious and offer the protection needed in front of the back four.
Granit Xhaka has shown glimpses of promise since his move from Borussia Monchengladbach back in 2016, but isn’t anywhere near consistent enough yet, while Mohamed Elneny hasn’t always been a regular under Wenger, although does appear to have the qualities to be effective in that role.
And with Santi Cazorla still out injured and the futures of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere far from certain, Wenger will have to strengthen his midfield options this summer. And he should look no further than Dembele.
Ultimately, the Belgium international has got everything needed to be a quality central midfielder in the Premier League, be it composure and quality on the ball in patrolling the midfield and launching attacks, or indeed tenacity and a great reading of the game off it to protect the back four and control the middle of the park.
And while injuries have hindered him in recent years, his incredible display in their 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League back in February further underlined that the 30-year-old is an elite midfielder – the sort Arsenal haven’t had for many years.
And given how influential he has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s side in recent years, there’s little doubting that he could have a similar sort of impact across North London at the Emirates as well.
And if Arsenal are serious about challenging once again for the top four and indeed the title, these are the sort of audacious moves they have to make to bring the squad up to the level of Manchester City and co.
As such, the Gunners should seek to make a move for the 30-year-old this summer in a bid to finally solve their midfield issues.
Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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