Sunday, August 14, 2022

Arsenal Linked With Big Money Move For La Liga Star: Can Wenger Finally Break The Shackles?

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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 are in the market on the lookout for a Striker and a defender with the club assessing several options currently. One interesting name to pop up in the last couple of days amidst the transfer speculations was of Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodriguez. The 25-year-old star joined Los Blancos from Monaco in 2014 on the back of his stellar performances at the World Cup in Brazil, where he was one of the standout players scoring one of the goals of the tournament. Since then, however, he has failed to match fans’ expectations and has reportedly done nothing during Real’s pre-season campaign to make the club want to keep him.

To be fair, James Rodriguez has been one of the best performers for Real Madrid when he’s been on the pitch for the Spanish giants. Rodriguez, made a name for himself while at Porto, with his consistent displays. He went to AS Monaco in 2013/14 when Monaco made him the second most expensive transfer in Portuguese football after Hulk with the transfer fees paid.

The Columbian dazzled in Ligue 1 in his first and only season scoring 9 times and assisting 12 times finishing the season as his club’s player of the year, before heading off to Brazil with his national team for the World Cup . The World Cup in Brazil served as a springboard for him; Columbia reached the quarter-finals with James scoring 5 times in their 5 games leading their midfield with exceptional maturity and flair.

Real Madrid immediately made him their next ‘Galactico’ with a £65m move to the Spanish capital from Monaco. In his first season at the Bernabeu, the 25-year old midfielder directly contributed to 26 goals for the team spread evenly between goals and assists making 29 starts in the La Liga.

Despite his stellar performances the previous year, last season James was not given enough chances to feature in the first team, as he made only 17 starts alongside 9 substitute appearances. The midfielder never stopped making an impact though with scoring 7 times and registering 8 assists in the league consistently performing well whenever he got his chance in a team that featured the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

James with all his talent and quality is undervalued and unappreciated at Madrid. The player would be forced to make a move elsewhere due to this. Arsenal can be an interesting destination for the Columbian. While the EPL would provide the tests more vigorously on a more frequent basis, he can fit into a system alongside Ozil and Sanchez in a more forward role playing off the main striker.

James Rodriguez guarantees goals and assists; he can be the man who will make the difference from the midfield owing to his superior finishing and movement which the Gunners lack at the moment as their players usually fail to combine the two aforementioned attributes.  Signing the Columbia ace would not only boost the Arsenal squad but also their attacking prowess as the 25-year old has enough maturity to step up and make a difference when needed.

Having paid a monumental sum for the attacking midfielder, Real won’t be selling him for cheap, which would mean that Arsene Wenger would need to splash the mega bucks for the player. If he decides to do so then it would definitely be money well spent on someone having a wealth of experience of playing in different leagues, good leadership qualities, fantastic winning mentality and attitude and most importantly the required amount of world class talent to turn a team into League contenders from the very outset.

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