If Arsenal want to go after a holding midfield player this summer, they could do a lot worse than trying to sign Mohamed Sissoko from Paris Saint-Germain.
One of the key components which is missing from the Arsenal team at the moment is a holding player, someone who can sit and protect the back four, allowing Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla to attack as much as they like.
Sissoko can do that job and he could be available as he’s been farmed out on loan by the French giants to Serie A team Fiorentina.
What he will inject into the Arsenal midfield is the aggression which has been missing ever since the Gunners sold Alex Song to Barcelona.
He’s not a pretty player to watch but that’s not why Arsenal would buy him, they’d be buying him to mop up after an opposition attack breaks down and to pick off runs, intercept balls and generally throw himself around in the middle of the pitch.
It’s a safe investment for Arsenal because he has plenty of Premier League experience having played over 50 games for Liverpool.
Therefore, he knows English football, he knows all about the pace of the English game and it means Arsenal could throw him in at the deep end and he stands a very good chance of becoming instantly effective.
At 28-years-old he also still has a decent chunk of his career left to offer and his position means Arsenal can rely on him over the next few seasons.
He can get involved with the current crop of younger midfielders at Arsenal and play with them as the team develops, adding his experience and some maturity as the pressure grows on the club’s young stars.
His contract is also significant because it expires at PSG in the summer of 2014. So if the club want to try and get some compensation for him, they may think about selling him this summer instead of this January.
It also makes him affordable because all things considered, Arsenal shouldn’t have to pay much more than just under £10 million to make him their player. Any higher than that fee and it has to be because of a bidding war with another interested club.
This represents value which is the way Arsene Wenger has always approached the transfer market. Arsenal could do a lot worse.
Is Sissoko the right fit for Arsenal?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald