Various reports claim that North London giants Arsenal have opened talks with Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho and after prolonged speculation of the midfielder arriving in the Premier League, it just might finally be happening. The 25-year-old has reached a stagnancy at Sporting Lisbon and has expressed his willingness to join Arsenal.
The Gunners had come extremely close to land him two summers back but fell short of a bid and the window closed. This time, things look up for both the player as well as the club and the midfielder might start Arsenal’s Community Shield game against Chelsea next month. Arsenal’s previous unsuccessful bid for the player was reportedly €23m (£20.6m) during the 2014/15 season, but Sporting CP president Bruno de Carvalho is apparently willing to let him go for €30m (£27m).
Arsenal had a good review of their strengths and weaknesses in their preseason tour, which ended with a thumping loss to Chelsea. Manager Arsene Wenger did try both his formations in the hectic tour and the midfield was hugely crippled with four-man defence. The same partnership of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey, which had worked magically for Arsenal in the ending games of their last campaign, was seen crumbling.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wasn’t seen playing in the midfield, which raises concern over his future at Arsenal. However, the fact remains that Ox is not at his dangerous self from the centre of the park and Gareth Southgate has experimented with him in that role, with no effect. Though Mohamed Elneny has shown some sparks, his first team chances are questionable, while Francis Coquelin looked sharp.
Hence, Wenger is just one short in his midfield as Santiago Cazorla continues to recover from his injury and Jack Wilshere is expected to leave Emirates this summer. And Carvalho could be an ideal fit in that role. The Sporting CP Academy product has brilliant dribbling abilities from congested spaces, which is a rare talent to have in an anchorman.
He is also quite versatile across the defensive third as he can play as a centre-half with ease. His impeccable passing and eye for the crucial through ball makes him just the player Wenger likes from that deep midfield. He had shown his potential quite early in his career, making debut as a 19-year-old for the club. He has played over 100 games since then.
His progress could be credited to his two early loan stints in his career with Portuguese side Fatima and Belgian side Cercle Brugge. And now a complete midfielder, Carvalho would easily be a long-term solution for Arsenal in their midfield.
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