According to Mirror, Arsenal are among the clubs interested in the services of James Rodriguez. The Real Madrid midfielder is set to return to Santiago Bernabeu after a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich. However, it is believed that he doesn’t have a future at Madrid and could be on the verge of moving to the Premier League this summer.
The report claims that Arsenal, along with league rivals Manchester United and Liverpool are keen to bring the Colombian international to England.
Arsenal’s attacking woes
Arsenal finished the 2018/19 Premier League campaign as the third highest scorers in the league. But that is mainly because of their two in-form centre forwards in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. The duo combined to score almost half of Arsenal’s goals this term, with Aubameyang ending up as the league’s joint-top scorer.
That has been the only bright spark in an otherwise dire Arsenal attack that has lacked reliable options in the creative department. Star playmaker Mesut Ozil has struggled to integrate to Unai Emery’s gameplan while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been linked with a move away from Emirates.
Additionally, Arsenal will have to deal with the departure of Aaron Ramsey at the end of the campaign. The Welshman was one of most consistent performers for the club this season. And his departure will surely create a large gaping hole in the Arsenal attack.
Where does James Rodriguez fit in?
It is rather evident that the Gunners are in desperate need of someone who can reinvigorate Arsenal’s creative department next season. James, in that regard, could be an ideal option for Emery for several reasons. For one, the Colombian international is a highly versatile attacker, who can feature anywhere in the final third. Though primarily an attacking midfielder, James can play in the wide-attacking roles. And this could make it easier for Emery to accomodate him in his attacking setup.
As for as gameplay is concerned, Rodriguez is adept in playing quick one-twos in the final third and breaching the opposition defences. He mostly likes to operate in a central role, where he can open both sides of the pitch and thread in through passes. He’s a decent crosser as well.
But, what makes Rodriguez such an appealing target for Arsenal is his attacking productivity. In what many consider a failed move, the Real Madrid star was still involved in 29 goals in just 43 Bundesliga matches with Bayern Munich. His service in the final third played a critical role in their title-winning campaign in 2017/18. And the Colombian can surely replicate that in the English soil as well, given his experience in the highest level of football. Hence, he will be an ideal signing for Arsenal.
But, securing Champions League qualification could play a key role in their pursuit of Rodriguez. That means a lot will depend on whether or not they manage to secure a victory against Chelsea in the Europa League final later this month.