Apart from the obvious link-ups during this time of summer, transfer period has also seen some of the most bizarre claims throughout its history. While mostly they die an oblivious death, there have been occasions when those turn to reality. And Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic coming to Arsenal in a swap deal for Arsenal’s eccentric player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be one of those infrequent examples.
According to latest reports, the giant Chelsea midfielder is seen by Arsene Wenger as an effective option alongside their newest anchorman Granit Xhaka and he is even willing to offer his most utility player in return.
The arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko at Stamford Bridge has pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for Matic’s career with the Blues, with the Serbian international keen on moving out for more regular action. Though his previous boss Jose Mourinho, who is current with Manchester United, remains his first priority, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that the Gunners have plans of hijacking that deal.
While giving up on a 23-year-old Chamberlain for 28-year-old Matic looks like a bad bargain for the North London giants, Arsene Wenger could churn out a title-winning season if he does manage to pull off this deal. Arsenal have failed to reach a contract extension for Chamberlain over the last few weeks, who is in the last 12 months of his contract and losing him for free next season isn’t a very wise option.
Chamberlain has time and again reiterated his desire to play in the central midfield, where Arsene Wenger has only deployed him in urgent situations. And one of the main reasons for that has been the player’s ineffectiveness from the centre of the park as his over-reliance on pace and strength makes him a winger at best.
However, Arsenal’s search for a strong presence in their spine could almost perfectly be facilitated by Matic. Although the 194cm midfielder couldn’t match feet to feet with N’Golo Kante’s tremendous pace and work rate, he did win a lot many aerial duels for the Blues and his intelligent game reading abilities enable him to intercept most of the balls.
Arsenal don’t play with a high midfield and alongside Xhaka, who prefers to sit back and spread along balls from the deep midfield, Matic would find his best suit with a comparatively slow pace as most of the counters would be taken care by the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin.