Arsenal £17m target 'next Pirlo' flopped in big game - typical Gunner?

Chelsea Stadium Stamford Bridge

Marco Verratti failed to live up to his extraordinary hype in the two legs of PSG's Champions League examination against Chelsea.

Once touted as the heir to Andre Pirlo's throne, rising Italian midfielder Marc Verratti has been returning impressive passing statistics at current employer Paris Saint Germain.

With an accuracy of 94% in Champions League football, Verratti attempts 90 passes every outing and, in Ligue 1 competition, has even returned figures well over a century, bearing comparisons to some of the most accomplished midfield passers in world football - Xavi of Barcelona or Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos.

The 21-year-old's plaudits, though, ceased in the quarterfinal stage of Europe's premier club competition as he was caught out in possession against Chelsea in the first leg at the Parc des Princes, needlessly giving the ball away on the big stage. Arsenal legend Martin Keown even claimed that he "took liberties."

At the return leg staged at Stamford Bridge earlier this week he was significantly better, yet still unable to make a difference versus the Blues, who overturned the 3-1 deficit from France, restored aggregate parity but went through to the semis by virtue of the away goal ruling.

Arsene Wenger has been linked to the Pirlo incarnate and reportedly would be willing to agree a £17m deal with PSG looking to rid themselves of a player yet to score in competitive football for them.

But, considering how woeful the Gunners have been in the bigger matches this season - 6-3 loss to Manchester City, 5-1 defeat against Liverpool, humbled 6-0 by Chelsea and slayed 3-0 by Everton - wouldn't Arsenal benefit from a player who rises to the occasion, like Sol Campbell of yesteryear, rather than one who fits the current type?

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