Success is a heavy burden that can crush the recipient if he is not prepared for it. Such seems the fate of current LA Liga Champions Atletico Madrid. After a stunning season last season which saw them edge Spanish moneybags and big spenders Barcelona and Real Madrid to win the LA Liga and also narrowly lost the Champions League title to cross town rivals Real Madrid. The unique success they achieved last season has beamed the searchlight of clubs interested in bolstering their ranks on them. The likes of Barca, Arsenal and Chelsea are keen on luring players away from the Roman Calderon this summer.
Chelsea seem the Oliver Twist as they have targeted at least three players from the La Liga champions. According to reports, the Blues have all but concluded the deal for Atletico Brazilian-cum-Spanish striker Diego Costa while they are also targeting Juanfran and their former player Thiago who is available on a bosman free transfer.
Barca are also not left out as European hawks feed on the success of the Madrid team. The Catalans are targeting them as they attempt to strengthen their attack ahead of the new season. According to reports, the Blaugrana have expressed readiness to trigger the release clause of Athletico Madrid winger Ardan Turan. This might prove another crushing blow for Athletico Madrid but their pain is set to be Arsenal’s gain.
The arrival of Turan who is a winger could open the exit door for two of Barca’s current wingers; Pedro and Alexis Sanchez. Both men have been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp. While Alexis Sanchez is wanted by Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus, Pedro is interesting Arsenal. It is a not rumour that the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is an age long fan of the Spanish winger.
The imminent arrival of Turan means reduced playing time for Pedro and Alexis. Already, both men enjoyed reduced run of first team football last season no thanks to the big money arrival of Brazilian sensation Neymar. Turan’s arrival would only worsen their case. Enrique seems to be bringing his own kind of players for whatever reasons and he would want them to play. The arrival of Rakitic has thrown Fabregas’ future in doubt and that is what Turan’s own would do to Sanchez and Pedro.
In the event of them deciding to leave, Arsenal should be ready to pounce. Both men might not be appreciated at Barca because of the presence of ‘almighty’ Messi and big money signing Neymar but he would do a great job at Arsenal. His pace ( talking of Pedro this time), trickery and eye for goal would put him in a good stead to act as a capable foil for current incumbent striker Olivier Giroud. His versatility also means that he can play as a striker in a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formation, a supporting striker in a 4-4-2 formation and on the wings in either formation. The same can also be said of Sanchez but if I am to choose, I will go for Pedro, he seems a better finisher than Sanchez and should also command a decent fee since not too many clubs are interested in him like the Chilean which could see Barca set a perfect stage for a bidding war just to make as much money for his sale.
Since Arsenal loathes bidding war and always shies away from it, Pedro seems our best bet.