The rumour mill is raging with Arsenal news today. The latest one is about the Gunners’ search for defensive midfielder. The Gunners are in the market for a new defensive midfielder to add stell and spine to their brittle midfield. To this end, they have been linked with Southampton’s French midfielder Morgan Schnerderlin. According to the latest reports in the rumour mill, Arsenal are now targeting a move for Real Madrid’s German midfielder Sami Khedira and AC Milan’s Dutch defensive lynchpin Nigel De Jong.
Khedira is keen to leave Real Madrid owing to the limited role he has had to endure in the team last season and according to reports, the Gunners are willing to splash 16million Pounds to persuade Real Madrid to sell him. However, it is the interest in Nigel De Jong that excites me. The Dutchman is disgruntled at the sack of close friend Clarance Seedorf and with a year left on his current Milan deal, the Rossonerris could be tempted to cash in.
De Jong at 29, he is vastly experienced and feared owing to his brutish history. In his stint at Manchester City, he was responsible for two broken legs; Bolton’s Holden and Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa. The stamp on Alonso’s chest in the 2010 World Cup final also readily comes to mind. That makes his hard-man credentials clear for all to see. To many, his seemingly rough style of play makes him a NO, NO for Arsenal. That is the more reason why I believe he is the man Arsenal need.
Arsenal have been a victim of been bullied away from home and that greatly harmed their chances of winning the Premier League last season. Against City, Arsenal’s midfield was torn into shreds, if we had a player like De Jong, Arsenal probably won’t have lost to City and against Chelsea, the Gunners’ midfield couldn’t stop Matic. Throughout last season, Arsenal couldn’t stand toe to toe with City’s dominant midfielders Yaya Toure and Fernandinho and Chelsea’s Matic. This is something we have to correct next season. Many worry about red cards, but he only got one red card at City for instance and he hasn’t broken anyone’s leg lately which means he is getting matured with his tackles.
De Jong’s brutish history would certainly strike fear in the hearts of opponents. Once our defensive midfield is in good hands, our attack will be stronger. Another reason why I believe Arsenal should pursue their interest in De Jong is the competition available. For Khedira, Arsenal would have to battle Chelsea and could lose out but for De Jong, only QPR seem to be standing on Arsenal’s way. In that case, the Gunners should make a mince meat of their competition since the Gunners have Champions League football to flaunt and also De Jong stands a better chance of winning titles with Arsenal than staying up with QPR. Coming to Arsenal would allow De Jong pay City back in their own coin.
Some people might argue that a move for De Jong could stymie a move for Saints’ Schnerderlin but I won’t share that position. The Saint is young at 24yrs and he is a long term solution for Arsenal’s defensive midfield position but De Jong has the experience at the highest level with Holland, City and AC Milan. Here is a good way to solve it, Arteta should be sacrificed, we have enough box to box midfielders, his contract is fast winding down and he is yet to agree a new deal and he is no defensive midfielder. Arsenal should cash in on Arteta and replace him with De Jong as the defensive midfielder while Morgan also comes in as the long term solution to both Flamini and De Jong.
Those scared that De Jong might not fit into Arsenal’s passing style should not fret. The Dutchman is a good passer of the ball. In one of the seasons while he was at City, he had the best passer of the ball with 90% accuracy. If he could achieve that with City, then he could do much more at Arsenal.