With each passing day, it seems more and more likely that by the time the squad convenes on July 4th and heads off to Asia, Higuain will be among them. Recently BBC reporter David Ornstein via his twitter account confirmed that not only are Arsenal looking at the Argentine, we have made him our top priority. Given his track record, you can take that to the bank.
He seems to have a connection very high up in the Arsenal hierarchy. I remember during the Arteta transfer (which was one of the most dramatic to date) he knew and reported everything that happened, when it happened and how it happened. To refresh your memory, this was a transfer that was sanctioned six hours to the transfer deadline. A bid was made but Arsene changed his mind and called it off. He then changed his mind again and decided to go for him until finally, he signed him. Ornstein also reported the transfers of Santos, Per, Ox, Gervinho, Park, Santi, Poldi and Giroud well before the club confirmed them.
Anyway, given the imminent arrival of Higuain, our attack is looking as potent as it has ever been. Ornstein also reported that on our priority list is a DM and an attacking midfielder. I think he meant a left sided attacker, and the reports linking us to Dimitri Payet of Lille, El sharaawy and Nani confirm this – sort of. This is what I’d like to discuss.
With Theo and Higuain we have a mobile team of goal scorers who can create for each other and support each other, generally forcing opposing defenders to earn their keep to the very last dime. On the left though, we lack a player of the same calibre as the aforementioned two.
We have Gervinho who the less said about him the better. Then we have Poldi who when played on the left has produced mixed performances. His defensive contributions and crossing ability are commendable but he lacks the kind of pace, movement, speed of thought or dribbling skills that make players such as Di Maria such a pain to play against. As a result, for large chunks of the season he has looked lethargic. I believe his best position is at the centre of the park, and his performances in Giroud’s absence seem to have convinced Wenger of this. His two goal performance against Wigan being proof of this. Given an extended run in that position would reinforce my point, however, unfortunately for him (but fortunately for us), it is looking likely that this will be a position that will be fiercely contested for.
Which brings me back to my subject matter. This leaves us with Gervinho and the Ox as the two contenders for the left slot. Obviously, Gervinho is not a player who Arsene can hinge the success of his team on. The Ox to me seems as the perfect solution, but Wenger seems adamant on his plans to develop him into a central midfielder. This means that we do not have a player who could adequately complete this devastating attacking trinity. The ideal player should have pace, should be technically up to par, should have good dribbling ability, should be mobile (and versatile), must be strong in his crossing and most of all should be a goal scorer.
Like mentioned earlier, we’ve been linked with Payet, El sharaawy and Nani. I’d like to add Jovetic, Cabella and Isco to this list.
With Payet we have a player who only bloomed recently and at 26 is entering his prime. He has tremendous pace, crossing and dribbling ability and has a very good shooting technique. He would come cheap but his main con is that being a late bloomer, he has very limited top flight experience and his ability to adapt to the EPL is very much in question (remember that Gervinho was at one point in time ahead of him in the pecking order).
Then we have El sharaawy, who would be perfect. He ticks all the boxes above and is a prolific goal scorer. The only concerns about him though, are his slight build, loyalty to the Milan cause and his price tag. Although with the arrival of Balotelli and the Milan president’s comments that he is not ”unsellable”, a bid of around 30 million would be enough to bring him over to the emirates.
Then we have Isco whose abilities I have discussed at length before. With him, however, we are at a disadvantage because Man City and Real Madrid are both after him. They both have unlimited resources, with City even having the edge, as their coach is Isco’s footballing father figure. It would take enormous effort and funds to land him but he is well and truly worth it.
We have Jovetic, who we’ve been linked with all summer. He is also one who ticks all the boxes above. He is the most versatile and mobile of the lot. He would cost around 25 million, but given the fact he has been vocal about his desire to leave, this amount can be negotiated to between 20-22 million. Not only did he speak fondly about Arsenal, Fiorentina prefer to sell him abroad if he is to leave, so I doubt that the transfer would be a complicated one (if we were to embark on it).
There’s also Cabella, whose club president said that he would cost around 80 million, although this is a hyperbole used to scare off any suitors. Cabella is fast, skilled, extremely enthusiastic and young. My issue with him is that he is a diver. He also is a bit raw, but just a bit. He is not as prolific as we would like but his talent is there for all to see, and we Gooners saw first-hand what he can do when we played Montpellier in the UCL. He is nowhere near the finished article, and I have no idea how much he would cost, but I think he is worth a look.
Finally there is Nani, my least favourite. He has top premier league experience and has won many trophies. My concerns about him are the same that Man Utd have. He is inconsistent and selfish. He is a player who places individual success above that of the team to the point where it affects his game (he has repeatedly said that he wants to beat Ronaldo to the ballon d’or; he also recently said that he is too good for a return to Portugal.) Nani is a player who would rather do it all himself, and quite honestly, that is the opposite of an Arsenal player. If Arsene thinks he can manage and bring out the best in him then I think he should go for him because despite all this he has the talent.
However Arsene decides to go, I hope that whoever he brings in to fill in the final attacking position is of the same ilk as Theo and Higuain. This would make our attack fearsome and with the kind of midfield and defence we have assembled, we would reacquire our status as a European footballing giant.
Written by: Marcus