With the arrival of Gareth Bale in the Spanish capital from North London, Arsenal are looking to capitalize on the destabilizing effect the Welshman’s arrival will have on Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team.
German midfielder Mesut Ozil is currently undergoing a medical in his homeland ahead of a proposed £42 million move to Arsenal on this deadline day. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger stated after his side’s 1-0 win against Spurs in the North London derby on Sunday that the fans would could expect a ‘surprise’ on deadline day.
It would appear Ozil may well be that surprise but is it perhaps surprising more that Wenger has opted to sign another attacking midfielder, given the options and abundance of talent he has available in his squad and the lack of options available in other positions?
Ozil operates best in a central attacking midfield role both for current club and his country – he is a playmaker that is usually deployed to support the striker and create opportunities in and around the box. At this, there are very few players on the continent that can compete with his talents.
Presently, Wenger uses Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere in that position but with Lukas Podolski out for at least 10 weeks and youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out for at least three months, the boss has fewer options on the left flank.
Arsenal sold the underwhelming Gervinho to Roma this summer but on the right flank the form and fitness of Theo Walcott has been a real positive for the French boss.
With Podolski’s injury, Cazorla will likely move left as he has done in the Gunners’ last two fixtures, as well as in the latter stages of last season. The pint-sized Spaniard affects the play better when he’s deployed centrally but he finds more space when played wide.
Jack Wilshere and the new and improved Aaron Ramsey have performed impressively, compensating for the sidelined Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park but with Ozil’s arrival, it would likely mean one of them loses their starting place in Wenger’s midfield trio.
A player like Di Maria, meanwhile, would be better suited to a wide position which would see Cazorla return to a central role – with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury, Theo Walcott could also use some strong competition to ensure he remains focused and a player of Di Maria’s talent would be the ideal candidate in that respect.
Arguably, Arsenal need another option at centre-forward but rumours of a potential Karim Benzema deal have cooled in the last few days. The Frenchman would be competing with his national teammate Giroud if he came in but, at this point, it looks unlikely that move will come to fruition.
What Ozil’s seemingly imminent arrival at Arsenal means in that Wenger will have one of the continent’s finest players to bring in to an area in his squad that is undoubtedly the most well-oiled already. I wonder what the effect of his arrival will have on the confidence of a player like Aaron Ramsey, especially, give his vast improvements recently.
Wenger may opt to deploy Ozil as a second striker, functioning similarly to a number 10 role – instead of spending that kind of money on a striker, Wenger may opt to keep his faith in Giroud who has now scored in all but one of his appearances this term and looks to be flying high on confidence at present.
image: © Jan S0L0