The English transfer window has been closed for nearly 3 weeks now yet in the Barclays Premier League the rumour mill never stops. According to Italian media, Arsenal are interesting in making midfielder Etiene Capoue.
After losing Alex Song to Barcelona summer, questions were asked during the transfer window as to whether Arsenal had a holding midfielder they could rely on. Luckily for Arsene Wenger Abou Diaby has come back into the side in fine form, yet it seems the French manager doesn’t want to take too many chances on a many who has succumbed to injury regularly throughout his career.
However, Capoue isn’t going to be easy for Arsene Wenger to sign. According to Mercato the Gunners join a list of clubs including Barcelona, Juventus and Atletico Madrid who are fans of the 24-year-old. In addition the Frenchman is unlikely to come cheap – Arsenal are considering a bid in the region of €13-14 million according to the reports.
In my mind Capoue would be a great addition to this Arsenal side. His versatility means he could have an instant impact at the Emirates with the 24 year old capable for playing as a defensive midfielder or an outright defender. Furthermore at such a young age he has not reached the prime of his career yet has been impressive for Toulouse in the last couple of years. With the right tutelage Arsene Wenger may be able to extract his talents even further as he has with so many youthful prospects.
Capoue would also fit seamlessly into the Arsenal set up. He is incredibly similar to the recently departed Song and would add the Gunner’s physical presence in the midfield which is sometimes lacking. Furthermore Capoue is an accomplished passer and would serve as a good holding midfielder capable of distributing the ball, perhaps even allowing Abou Diaby to push forward and aid the attack.
If the rumours are true then I certainly think this is another shrewd bit of business by Arsene Wenger. Capoue is still rough around the edges yet he has the physical and technical credentials to be a successful player in the Barclays Premier League. With Wenger’s tuition perhaps his potential can indeed blossom.
However there are questions to be asked regarding this rumour. Firstly, Arsenal did have the opportunity to sign Capoue once Alex Song left for Catalonia yet chose not to. Arsene Wenger is also known to be a fan of Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila. Whether Capoue is simply an alternative to M’Vila is something that Arsenal fans may have to consider.
Secondly do Arsenal really need Capoue? If Diaby stays fit then surely he starts for Arsenal after impressing in the Gunner’s opening four games. It is widely known however that Diaby is susceptible to injury, yet with the addition of Coquelin and the young Emmanuel Frimpong in the squad Arsene Wenger may feel he already has enough midfielder power.
Certainly Capoue would be effective if he comes to Arsenal yet I still don’t see the deal getting done. M’Vila is widely known as being a more polished player and Wenger would surely sign the Rennes man over Capoue should he have the choice. Yet whether he resorts to that is another question – Wenger already has talent in his midfield and might not want another player to make his job harder.