The amazing €18m midfielder Arsenal can sign for free

Arsenal could solve their long-term defensive midfield questions with a signing from PSG this summer.

Arsene Wenger clearly enjoyed answering his critics with a £42 million signing of Mesut Ozil in the summer, but the Frenchman loves a bargain even more.

It's hard to believe he didn't gain even more satisfaction from Mathieu Flamini's success, a player he re-signed on a free even though he admits he was reluctant to do so.

Flamini is 29, and probably still can't be considered the long-term answer for Arsenal in defensive midfield also bearing in mind his injury history, even if he could be part of it.

So when Arsene Wenger goes looking, in January or next summer, there is one standout solution who the Gunners have to consider, and one who could be signed for free.

That man is PSG ace Blaise Matuidi, whose contract is set to expire in June and will be free to negotiate with clubs from January.

The 26-year-old has made 19 starts for the French champions this season, providing a crucial anchor for Laurent Blanc's side - but is also feeling unwanted in part due to the club's pursuit of Paul Pogba.

His attributes make him finely suited for a switch to Arsenal. He has a pass completion rate of 92.4%, higher than any current Gunners midfielder - Flamini highest with 91.5%.

Matuidi is a tough tackler, registering an average of 2.2 successful tackles in Ligue 1 per game, again higher than Flamini (1.6). He also has two goals and three assists to his name this season.

The midfielder is valued at €18 million, and was recently nominated for French Footballer of the Year. 

Manchester United are also said to be in the hunt for his signature, with Chelsea linked a few months back too - and there will be several clubs with Matuidi's name on their shortlist bearing in mind his contract situation.

Arsenal should make sure they are at the top of that list, and Arsene Wenger should use his French connections to try and persuade Matuidi to join the Gunners - and pull off the deal of the summer.

image: © brunolaon

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