Why Mateo Kovacic would be the wrong signing for Arsenal

Mateo Kovacic Croatia

The young Croatian has impressed for Inter Milan this season, but is the wrong type of player Arsene Wenger should be looking at.

Arsenal have this week been heavily linked with a move for Inter Milan's outstanding young attacking midfielder Mateo Kovacic in several media sources, including the Express.

The Metro claim that Kovacic 'has been compared to Cesc Fabregas', and would be available for around £17 million, with Real Madrid and Everton also interested. But this reported interest from Arsene Wenger seems peculiar when considering the players the Gunners already have at the club.

Arsenal already have a wealth of talent in the number 10 role, arguably being the best stocked side in the Premier League in that position.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are often thought of as two of the most gifted number 10s in the world, and Sanchez in particular has impressed since arriving from Barcelona last summer. Already, the two former La Liga stars are having to take turns playing out wide just to fit both in the team. Welshman Aaron Ramsey also hinted that he could comfortably play a more attacking role last year, when he netted an impressive 16 goals in 34 games, and Arsenal academy graduate Jack Wilshere has had good games in that position, as he still searches for the regular first-team position his recurring injuries won't grant him. Even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has played there with some success, and the 21-year-old is only going to improve as he trains alongside Sanchez.

Kovacic can play in a more central midfield position, with roughly half of his appearances this season coming as part of a midfield pair for Inter, but even here the Gunners are well stocked.

Both Wilshere, the current owner of the club's number 10 jersey, and Ramsey are more than capable of operating behind an attacking midfielder, with the two young Brits much more tenacious and able to contribute defensively than Kovacic has demonstrated in his short career.

Santi Cazorla has also flourished in recent months playing deeper than he has in the past, while there are also capable players in the last few years of their careers like Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky, as well as hugely promising youngsters who may be knocking on the door at first team level next season like Gedion Zelalem and Dan Crowley.

At just 20-years-old, Kovacic is certainly capable of going on to become a top class footballer, and this season the former Dinamo Zagreb man has significantly raised his game for Inter, currently boasting eight goals in 33 games - before 2014-15 he hadn't managed to find the net in one and a half seasons in Serie A.

But unless he is to be signed and loaned out to another team, the young Croatian is likely to struggle to get game time at an Arsenal side ripe in attacking midfield talent. Wenger would be better advised addressing the issues in defence, and providing support in defensive midfield, while looking for outstanding reinforcements in the striker role.

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