Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia as a replacement for Alex Song.
According to The Independent , the Gunners are preparing a bid of £8 million for the Argentine international. They had been linked in the summer with a move for the highly rated Frenchman Yann M’Vila who also plays as a defensive midfielder for Rennes but, due to concerns over his attitude and discipline both on and off the field, manager Arsene Wenger is now looking elsewhere.
M’Vila was regarded as one of the brightest young prospects of his generation by the Arsenal boss and for a similar fee he could be very easily lured to the Emirates after his club publicly stated that the player would be allowed to leave for the right price.
The player himself has been trying to engineer a move to the Premier League in recent weeks but, so far, only Queen’s Park Rangers have reciprocated. The 22-year-old’s agent claims that the player is willing to hold out for a better offer but conceded that Arsenal had not been in touch with Rennes this window to discuss his availability.
His agent, Tim Hager is quoted as saying,
"There is interest from a lot of clubs. Yann has a good contract at Rennes – it is possible that we can stay there and be patient. Every transfer window we are asked about Arsenal because of what the newspapers say, but I have not spoken to them about Yann."
Perhaps the situation is now becoming clearer – Arsenal are no longer interest in M’Vila, regardless of his rapidly decreasing price. Figuratively, that ship has sailed and Arsenal are now looking to Biglia who is four year’s the Frenchman’s senior and has Champion’s League experience but do to Anderlecht’s exit from the competition, he would not be cup-tied and could participate in Arsenal’s knock-out round fixtures against Bayern Munich in February.
Biglia has won 3 domestic league titles in Belgium, along with 5 domestic cups and was named Young Professional Footballer of the Year in 2007 by the Belgian Football Association, an award won twice by Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
Who is the better player though? M’Vila is certainly more technically gifted – his passing and skill level is undoubtedly at a higher level, despite his four years less experience and development. However, Biglia is probably the more astute tactically and has attained a far greater level of discipline, diligence, and industry.
The Belgian has nowhere near the amount of ‘baggage’ that comes along with M’Vila. His attitude has never been in question to my knowledge and, and such, he would probably be the safer of the two options.
But I just whether, pound for pound, if the Frenchman wouldn’t be the better buy – he needs to mature and he needs to be mentored and guided by someone of Wenger’s stature if he is ever going to achieve his potential. It seems that dream is now sinking, as Wenger looks set to anchor his ship with Lucas Biglia.
image: © sdhansay