Arsene Wenger’s search for an holding midfielder saw bids for Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg’s Luis Gustavo rejected last summer. But this summer has seen several reports emerged as the club goes in search of the long term midfielder who will replace the aging Mikel Arteta.
With the link of various players to the club in that position, one thing that has been missing is that very few players that are centre halves have been linked to the club. This brings to the fore the versatility of Wolfsburg’s Luis Gustavo into limelight. The departed Bacary Sagna was the de facto four centres half last season, where he featured numerous times as an emergency central defender.
In that effect, Luis Gustavo can become that de facto centre half. As he can play both, as a holding midfielder. At a price of £26 million, he is almost at the same price with Lars Bender who has also been linked to Arsenal in that position. Added to that is the fact that he is every bit more experience than every other player that have been linked. Having spent several seasons with Bayern Munich meaning, he has that mental fortitude in playing in a pressured environment.
A player known strictly for his defensive strength, he seldom embark on a frolic into the final third when it is not needful. Strong in the tackle, and not one to shy away, to let his feet do the talking when it comes to winning the ball back from an opponent. Although, it must be stated that he has the odd issue with discipline that saw him earn several suspensions last season.
Despite all the links, he had the opportunity of joining Arsenal last summer, when he opted to join Wolfsburg last summer for fear that he won’t be guaranteed a first team place in a year leading to the World Cup. However, as the World Cup reaches its climax, it likely that the Brazilian would like to re-join a club who will be playing in Europe’s top club competition after experiencing such lofty heights with Bayern Munich.
As the club continues it search for a holding midfielder, nobody knows which direction Arsene Wenger will choose to go in respect of who he will bring in. But, a choice in the direction of Luis Gustavo means the club will be bringing in a specialist holding midfielder in the mode of Gilberto Silva something the club has missed for several seasons.