While Arsenal continue their efforts to sign at least one new frontman, there is another area of the pitch that is in just as desperate need of rejuvenation.
As Abou Diaby continues his latest (long) road to recovery, Arsene Wenger’s need for a defensive midfielder remains a priority. And while the best in that position are usually integral to their current side, there is one who is seemingly surplus to requirements – despite playing a vital role for both club and country last season.
Luiz Gustavo is not one of the headline names in Bayern Munich’s glittering ensemble. And yet he is an outstanding young footballer who could be available for as little as €8million this summer.
Having made 32 appearances for the German treble-winners last season, and played every minute of Brazil’s successful Confederations Cup campaign, you would be forgiven for thinking Gustavo will be one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s team-sheet.
And yet instead he is likely to be playing elsewhere next season – with Arsenal as heavily linked as anyone.
With the player’s 26th birthday next week, he is reaching the peak of his career, in a position unheralded by some but vital for any club seeking success.
That he can also play in defence ticks another box for any club considering a bid.
German side Wolfsburg have already thrown their hat in the ring for his signature, while Chelsea are said to be circling. But Arsenal could and should be in the box-seat for a player who has the ability to be the difference between another season of regrets and one in which success returns to Wenger’s side.
Utility players are usually jacks of all trades and masters of none, but as much as Gustavo can play at centre-back or full-back, his position of choice – and the one in which he excels – is defensive midfield.
So while Arsenal continue their attempts to sign Luis Suarez or Gonzalo Higuain, they would do well to send an offer to the Allianz Arena.
Strong in the tackle and with good passing ability, including an eye for a through-ball, Gustavo is an Arsenal player in talent if not yet in name.
image: © jiazi