Friday, September 29, 2023

Arsenal Urged By Sanchez To Sign This La Liga Winner: Does The Move Make Tactical Sense?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Arsenal secured the transfer of Granit Xhaka quite early this window and have already signed two more players in the form of Takuma Asano and Rob Holding. While Asano and Holding are not the kind of players who will provide an immediate fix for the striker and defender situations, as they both are in their early twenties, the club is in the market to buy experienced players and more signings are expected. The priority is to sign a striker, a player who will score more than 30 goals in a season and is clinical in front of goal. Arsenal does have Olivier Giroud, who scores goals but also experiences some bad patches in between and needs support.

At the end of last season, when Arsenal missed out on the League title by no less than ten points to eventual winners Leicester City, the players were disappointed and frustrated. Olivier Giroud’s rough patch in the league where he went 15 matches without scoring was largely pointed out as the biggest reason behind the failure. Even though there were many other reasons which resulted in the failure to win the league, having a main striker endure such a barren spell is bound to affect the team. Arsenal team management thus recognized that buying a striker is a priority and there were also rumours of the two marquee players in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez stalling on their contract extensions, and making demands for the team to sign a center forward.

While the team is in need of a player upfront, the midfield area is totally congested and the Arrival of Xhaka, another deep-lying midfielder adds to its number as well. The Gunners do have some exciting young players like Iwobi, Gnabry and Rene Adelaide who can play on the flanks alongside Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Alexis so the team also possesses a good mix of youth and experience in that region.

Recently, reports indicated that Alexis Sanchez has urged the Gunners to sign Arda Turan from Barcelona in the summer. The Turkish Midfielder is surplus to the requirements at the Nou Camp and since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2015, has started only 9 games in the league.

Turan, made a name for himself being a vital part of the highly tenacious, workaholic and tough tackling Atletico Madrid side from 2011 to 2015. The attacking midfielder scored a total of 20 goals and provided 32 assists while making 178 appearances for the Los Colchoneros in all competitions during his 4 years at the club. While the statistics do reveal that the Turkey international is a potent attacking threat and can also help out the team defensively which he learned from being under Simeone, Turan is not the kind of player Arsenal needs right now.

The Gunners have an excellent box to box player in Aaron Ramsey and a masterful technician in Santi Cazorla who can play either upfront of the midfield or in its base. The arrival of Xhaka do give a hint of how the manager plans to set his team for next season and the ex-Atletico man would not fit into the passing setup at the Emirates and is thus not the ideal option to pursue at this point in time.

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