Just a few weeks back, Arsenal seemed to be truly in the title race but with two back to back losses against Everton and Manchester City, they are now nine points behind Chelsea. Arsene Wenger’s side have dropped down to their usual 4th spot now and fans will be concerned about the fact that they could be slipping away from the title race if things do not improve really soon. They start the season as title contenders every season but after December, we see a massive slump in their form and that started early this season.
The Mirror claims that a new left-back is topping Wenger’s wishlist in January and Valencia wonderkid Jose Luis Gaya is his prime target. The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the best prospects in Europe and there are many clubs who are after the Spaniard. Valencia have been struggling in La Liga for a number of seasons now and luring him away from the Mestalla should not be too much of a problem for the Gunners.
Nacho Monreal is currently the first choice left-back at the Emirates. The Spanish international had a brilliant last season but this season has not been all that good. Especially in the last few games, we have seen Arsenal getting exploited from his flank, perhaps because of his lack of pace. Backup left-back Kieran Gibbs has impressed when he was given a chance but his contract expiring in 18 months, there is very little chance that he will extend his deal as he hardly gets time on the pitch.
Jose Gaya is a perfect modern-day left-back with full of energy and willingness to burst forward. What makes him stand out are his defensive traits, though. Despite his forward forays, he hardly makes his side vulnerable defensively. His recovery pace is brilliant.
A player he can be compared to is former Valencia and now-Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba. In many ways, he is similar to the Spanish international and could be their first-choice for plenty of years to come.
As you expect from a Spaniard, Gaya is brilliant on the ball and hardly gets dispossessed. His tackling is one of the strongest areas of his game. He has won as many as 2.5 tackles every game this season which is impressive for a full-back. Gaya is also a fine dribbler but knows exactly when to release the ball. He has played 1 key pass every game which is a fine stat.
Still only 21, the Spaniard has his best days well ahead of him and could be a long-term prospect at Arsenal. Valencia have produced some quality full-backs in recent years, players like Alba and Bernat, so there’s no doubt that Gaya has the ability.
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