The prospect of spending £30 million pounds in the January transfer window must cause Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger’s head to spin. The fact that it is rumoured that it would be on one player, makes it even less believable.
Stories have been appearing since the weekend that AS Monaco’s Joao Moutinho is the player Wenger wants to replace Mickael Arteta long-term, but any move in January seems very unlikely, more to the fact, he is completely the wrong type of player that Arsenal desperately needs.
Moutinho has struggled ever-since his €25 million move from FC Porto to Monaco last summer. Unlike James Rodriguez, Moutinho failed to hit the heights which were expected and to say he has been less influential than Radamel Falcao leaves a lot to be desired.
This is not to say that Monaco wouldn’t accept any bid that would clear off the amount the Monegasque side paid for the 28-year-old, they would jump at the chance, and that is why this move is a non-starter.
It is easy to link to two parties. Moutinho was linked with a move away from Monaco in the summer, Arsenal need a new midfielder, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. However, Moutinho is not the type of midfielder to solve Arsenal’s problems and any scouts worth their salt would be able to see that this is not a move that is worth pursuing at this time.
Last season when Moutinho was at his best, he was playing behind a two-man attack, then when pushed back to accommodate James, his performances and influence dropped off. This season Leandro Jardim has used him in a three-man midfield. He is neat and tidy from the deep positions, but he is not a defensive shield, and is not the best tackler, and you lose the intricate passing ability that makes him dangerous.
If Wenger was feeling flush in January and wanted to splash around £25 million on one player, there are much better targets than a player that isn’t defensive minded and is also cup-tied for all European competitions.
In the summer, when Monaco would also have time to find a replacement, and Wenger might want a more creative option, Moutinho would be an option for around £18-20 million. This January this move is as unlikely as Arsenal’s title challenge.