Progression has been the game for Arsenal since the departure of Arsene Wenger. Following the arrival, Unai Emery has had a number of jobs to do, and so far, he’d done them well.
First and foremost, he’s had to take Arsenal into a new era, away from the manager that had overseen one of the most successful eras in their history. That’s no mean feat on its own, yet the transition has been smoother than anyone could have expected.
He’s also had to clear out a lot of the talent that was previously performing regularly under Wenger. This, inevitably, led to a few departures, but it also led to a few arrivals. This ties into Arsenal’s biggest quest, which was to help reinvigorate the team with fresh legs and youth.
That’s been achieved by buying young players like Lucas Torreira and Mateo Guendouzi, whilst also moving players like Per Mertesacker and Lucas Perez on.
It makes you wonder, then, why Arsenal reportedly want to bring in Ivan Perisic, at least according to the Evening Standard. Arsenal are apparently keen to bring in the Croatian, who has handed in a transfer request at Inter Milan, with Emery clearly viewing him as an impressive target.
Certainly, Perisic is a good player, but he would represent a big step back for the club, at least with regards to the above criteria. At 29-years-old, he’s a player that is coming towards the end of his peak, and that’s the opposite of what Arsenal have been looking to target lately. He’s very much representative of the sort of player that Arsenal would have targeted under Wenger, and he’s exactly the sort of player that Arsenal would have avoided over the summer. They’ve got enough experience in the team now, and so Perisic would simply be a waste.
Beyond all that, though, Perisic’s recent form begs the question: is he still good enough? He’s bagged just 3 goals and 2 assists this season, which is a marked step down from the 11 goals and 9 assists tally that he managed to achieve last season. Furthermore, his overall game seems to be a level below where it was 12 months ago, and whether that’s down to tiredness or another issue; his fall has been evident.
He’s still a good player, but he’s certainly not in the tier of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the Gabonese attacker is exactly who Perisic would compete with on the flanks, given that Alexandre Lacazette largely dominates the number 9 slot.
A move for Perisic, then, would be a step back for Arsenal. Unai Emery hasn’t made many mistakes at the helm in London, yet, but bringing him in would certainly be a major one.
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