Thursday, February 9, 2023

Arsenal Eyeing A Move For This Portuguese Midfield Enforcer: A Much Needed Transfer?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Arsenal are now eyeing a move for Sporting CP midfielder William Carvalho as Arsene Wenger looks to bring in more reinforcements to help out Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. The Portuguese international has been one of the more popular targets for many Premier League clubs over the past few years but nothing could materialise whatsoever.

The Gunners are not only targeting him from the Portuguese giants but are reportedly willing to pay a whopping £70 million to bring in the combined services of Gelson Martins along with him. Despite finding some success in getting a quality striker in Alexandre Lacazette, Wenger has faced increasing frustrations in his pursuit to get a midfielder and a winger.

Following a disastrous season by Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey last term, the Frenchman is on his toes and has come to terms with the fact that any number of midfielders wouldn’t guarantee Arsenal the success. The North London side started the season with five quality midfielders in its squad in the likes of Ramsey, Coquelin, Xhaka, Santiago Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny. But injuries to Cazorla and Elneny had left him with just three.

And apart from Xhaka, the other two remained tremendously inconsistent for most part of the season. With the likes of Jack Wilshere potential departures in the coming weeks and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain refusing contract offers from the club, Wenger has identified the Portuguese as the ideal fit for his midfield.

The midfielder had to endure a difficult time in Confederations Cup as they had to settle for a third-place after getting ousted by Chile in the semi-final. Although they did pull off a consolation prize against Mexico or the third-place tie, it was by no means their standard. And Sporting Lisbon’s poor domestic campaign the last term was a disappointment already.

Hence, Arsenal might swoop in just at the right moment and his long-awaited Premier League move can be a possibility. Naturally, a defensive midfielder, Carvalho’s versatility in the defensive third also enables him to play as a centre-half. Sporting has gained hugely from his brilliant passing and incisive through ball from deep midfield.

The 25-year-old also possesses terrific dribbling abilities, a rare attribute amongst anchormen and could be a good addition for Arsenal. The youth product of Sporting CP, Carvalho was an early bloomer to the side after just two loan stints with Portuguese side Fatima and Belgian side Cercle Brugge. Making his debut as a 19-year-old, he has played over 100 games for the club so far.

Arsenal could face competition from Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion in Carvalho’s pursuit, although they aren’t expected to be a big hindrance.

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