Arsenal were able to land Denis Suarez from Barcelona just before the end of the January transfer window in a loan deal manager Unai Emery will be pleased with.
The Spaniard, however, is unlikely to be completely satisfied with his club’s work in the market with his superiors having been unable to bring a new winger through the door.
Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic was believed to be Arsenal’s primary target for that position with BBC Sport’s David Ornstein confirming last month that the north London outfit were keen on adding the Croatian to their squad on loan before signing him permanently for £35m in the summer.
Predominantly a left winger, Perisic would have arrived at the Emirates as an alternative to Alex Iwobi with both players preferring to play on the left flank.
From there, Perisic is a massive threat. Once getting to the byline, the 30-year-old is capable of delivering dangerous balls into the box with his left foot.
In short, Perisic is a bit of a throwback with his playing style resembling that of an old-fashioned winger.
On top of his desire to constantly get crosses in, the Inter Milan man also enjoys staying out wide and beating his man on the outside, while his physicality and work rate have seen him come in for much praise, too.
“Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others,” Jose Mourinho, who tried to sign Perisic during his tenure as Manchester United manager, told Russia Today (via Football365) after the Croatia international helped guide his nation to a 2-1 World Cup semi-final win over England last summer with a second-half equaliser.
“Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative. But he is also physical, very physical. Fantastic in the air.”
TT Grade: B
In contrast to Perisic, like most players who occupy the attacking positions in today’s game, Iwobi is more of an inside forward than traditional winger.
Rather than staying wide and approaching the byline, the 22-year-old prefers to make runs in behind with his pace and operate in the half spaces.
In that regard, Iwobi is pretty effective and a useful asset to have. That movement off the ball can go a long way.
For a player playing so high up the pitch, however, Arsenal supporters will be expecting a higher output from the Nigeria international who is yet to score more than three goals in a Premier League season.
At 22, though, Iwobi has plenty of time to improve and has certainly shown that he can be at least a decent squad option for Emery in this moment of time.
TT Grade: C+
With so much to play for, Arsenal could regret not signing Perisic in the transfer window that has just gone.
The former VfL Wolfsburg man would have been a massive upgrade on Iwobi who now needs to up his numbers and, overall, is the sort of individual Emery could desperately do with.
Arsenal are not blessed with a tonne of options out wide with Henrikh Mkhitaryan being another name who has frustrated supporters this season.
Should the goals start drying up for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette even for just a small period, then the Gunners could find themselves in trouble having not bolstered their attack with a player like Perisic.
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