First and foremost, Arsenal have only just passed on their option to re-sign former captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. The Spain international has instead agreed a switch to Chelsea citing the fact that Arsenal have no requirement for another midfielder in his position anymore following the signing of Mesut Ozil. Along with the club record signing, Arsenal have the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, About Diaby, and Mikel Arteta who can all function as a central or attacking midfielder in Tom Cleverley’s position.
Meanwhile, even if Arsenal have enough experienced senior players who can play in his position, they also have youngsters Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem on the books – signing Tom Cleverley would block these highly exciting young prospects’ path to the first-team just as both were beginning to break through into the team.
It has been suggested the Gunners could sign Cleverley as part of a swap deal that has been rumoured this week taking Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen in the other direction up to Old Trafford. However, if the Gunners sell Vermaelen – the deal is reportedly worth £10 million – they would want to use the full cash to bring in a replacement centre back, not swap a quality and experienced defender for a midfielder who performed poorly last term with the Red Devils. Losing Bacary Sagna on a free transfer to Manchester City only further increases Arsenal’s requirement for a defender and I can’t imagine that wouldn’t be a market priority.
Cleverley has been heavily criticised by Manchester United fans this term in what has been a disappointing performance overall for the Englishman. He doesn’t compete or compare with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Aaron Ramsey evidenced by his omission from the England squad this summer with Roy Hodgson clearly preferring the former duo. Why would Arsenal bring in a player of inferior quality into to the squad in a position they already have more depth than any other department? It’s nonsensical.
Even if Arsenal were bizarrely in the market for a player in Cleverley’s position, there are plenty of alternatives outside England who, if Arsenal were genuinely looking to bring someone in to that area of the team, would be cheaper, more effective, and more consistent. Players like Roberto Firmino, who scored 22 goals and made 16 assists in all competitions for Hoffenheim last term, Adem Ljajic at Roma, or Schalke’s Max Meyer, for example, would all represent preferable options to Cleverley.