Arsenal have declared their intention to be active in the summer transfer window. This position was further reiterated by chief executive of the Gunner Ivan Gazidis recently. Talking to a section of the Arsenal fan base during a question and answer session, the South African declared that the Gunners were having discussions on many fronts over potential targets. In Arsenal’s typical clandestine manner, he didn’t reveal the targets but the media won’t be undone, hence, they have been linking the clubs to many players covering all the positions.
Two of the players we have been linked to are Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria and Barca’s Pedro Rodriguez. Both seem available for the right price for different reasons. Barca are planning wholesale changes to the squad after suffering an unusual trophy-less season last season. They want to buy big but that also mean they have to sell some of their under-performing players. As for Real Madrid, as usual Perez wants another galactico and have set sights on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez according to reports. The Uruguayan striker won’t come cheap, hence, Real would have to sell off some players to raise funds for him. Just like last summer when they had to sell Ozil to get Bale, they might have to sell Di Maria to land Suarez.
Now, that’s good news, one that would have Arsenal and Wenger salivating. Wenger has been linked with a move for both players in the past and might believe he stands a good chance of getting them now. They might both be up for sale but they won’t come cheap and that means Wenger is unlikely to land both men. He will have to settle for just one of them, who should it be?
In choosing, somethings must be put into consideration; price, versatility and availability.
According to reports, Real Madrid would only consider selling Di Maria if they receive a bid of at least 40million Pounds. That might be affordable for Arsenal considering the 100million Pounds warchest but I doubt if Wenger would pay that especially when he can get Pedro for half that price.
When it comes to versatility, both men are very versatile. Di Maria can play on both wings, as a central attacking midfielder and a supporting striker. Ditto for Pedro but besides all that, he can also play as a false 9. That might just give him the edge. Should Wenger fail to get a natural striker and should Walcott return to fitness and form, Pedro could always spearhead the attack in Giroud’s absence. He might lack the Frenchman’s towering physique but his pace, skill and finishing would make him a handful for defences and goalkeepers.
Finally, availability. Both are available on paper but should Real fail to get Suarez, they would fight tooth and nail to hold on to Di Maria. They might yet keep him even if they sign Suarez since the arrival of the Liverpool man could lead to the exit of Benzema. As for Pedro, it would be easier convincing Barca to part ways with him since they already have Neymar and are looking at bringing in another attacker.
Pedro is a player I have always rated. He might not be the best at the Nou Camp but in Wenger’s hands and with creative talents like Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere and Ramsey behind him, he could become a lethal finisher.