The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern have been slightly disappointed to hear reports that their club are set to abandon their interest in Anthony Martial this summer, but there is reason to believe that the club have made the correct decision.
According to reports from the London Evening Standard, Anthony Martial is seeking a move away from Old Trafford this summer due to his lack of first-team opportunities since Alexis Sanchez arrived at the club. The report also claims that Arsenal previously expressed an interest in bringing Martial to the club during negotiations over Sanchez’s transfer in January, but they are planning on focusing their interest on strengthening their options at centre-back and centre-midfield this summer.
Considering the level of quality Arsenal already have in attacking positions, that’s certainly a wise strategy to adopt. The Gunners have been crying out for a quality holding midfield for years, as the likes of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin have consistently failed to prove they are up to the task of anchoring Arsenal’s midfield.
With that being said, Wenger should prioritise the signing of a holding midfielder this summer, and Sven Mislintat may be able to provide him with some valuable information regarding a player who Arsenal should have on their radar, namely Julian Weigl of Mistlintat’s old club Borussia Dortmund.
Weigl (valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt) is one of the hottest prospects in European football right now, and his performances in defensive midfield for the German giants have raised plenty of eyebrows across the continent.
At just 22-years-old he certainly has plenty of scope for development, but the fact he already has plenty of experience playing for a top level club both domestically and in the Champions League suggests he could immediately slot into Arsenal’s starting eleven next season.
Sven Mislintat – Arsenal’s new head of recruitment – will have cast his watchful eye over Weigl for over two years during his time with Dortmund, so he should certainly be recommending the German international to the club’s hierarchy this summer.
Physically, Weigl is tall, lean and agile, and his athleticism enables him to position himself effectively to break up play before distributing to his teammates. He is exactly what Arsenal are missing at this moment in time, and his arrival could provide Wenger with the missing piece of the jigsaw which will enable the club to compete for the top-four again next season.
The importance of having a top defensive midfielder simply cannot be underestimated; Ngolo Kante’s impact on Chelsea last season, Fernandinho’s career at Man City and Nemanja Matic’s influence on Man United this season all serve to illustrate the importance of having a quality anchor in midfield, so Arsenal must do everything they can to rectify a long-standing club issue by signing Weigl this summer.
Arsenal fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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