Every summer, the transfer window rolls around and pundits discuss the areas of the Arsenal team in dire need of improvement. Every year, the defensive midfield positions are identified as a key area of weakness within the Gunners’ squad. And, every time, Arsene Wenger has failed to address this issue. Now that Unai Emery has taken over in the hot seat, will this close season be a different story? Arsenal are in need of big changes, and this gaping hole needs plugging immediately.
Unfortunately for the new boss at the Emirates, he will be expected to make the best of the summer transfer market with a limited budget of around £50 million according to The Telegraph. In the current climate, this is the kind of money that Premier League contenders are spending on singular players. Rebuilding a squad that is riddled with problems on this allowance will be nigh on impossible. With that in mind, Emery needs to play the market cleverly and look to bring in some bargains.
For this reason, Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini is being touted as a potential option to bolster Arsenal’s numbers in the centre of the park. The Belgian has recently turned down a one-year contract at Old Trafford worth £80,000-a-week and, if he can’t pen a new deal with the Manchester outfit, he will be available for free this summer. Jose Mourinho would like to keep the 30-year-old at the club but would not be able to guarantee the former Everton man a secure starting place. Arsenal, on the other hand, could offer regular starts and this may serve to tempt Fellaini to make the move to the capital.
The towering 6 foot 4 midfielder is not the most attractive of signings for Gunners’ fans to get excited about but he is a player with a wealth of top-flight experience. Fellaini joined the Toffees in 2008 and has made over 240 Premier League appearances since then. The man with 37 league goals to his name is also a regular for the Belgian national team, having earned 81 caps for his country. The Manchester United man will line up at this summer’s World Cup as well, where Belgium are considered strong contenders to win at 11/1 in the World Cup betting.
Arsenal have a number of options to use in the centre of the park and there is a chance that, under new boss Emery, some of the current club members can begin to flourish. Granit Xhaka, for instance, was supposed to be the answer to the midfield problems but has thus far failed to impress at the Emirates. The chance to operate in a different system could bring out the best in players like this, though.
Fellaini is a player who can get the job done in the top flight and may be able to help Arsenal tighten up in midfield. With the stringent budget this summer, getting a midfielder of this quality on a free transfer would represent a shrewd bit of business to kick-start Emery’s reign in North London.