Luis Enrique has recently emerged as a potential candidate to replace Unai Emery. The current Arsenal boss reportedly has only a month to save his job, and it’s unlikely he will be able to help the club recover from a dreadful start to the campaign. Hence, it won’t be surprising to see Enrique become the next Arsenal boss.
And in this article, we will talk about three players the ex-Barcelona manager could sign if he does indeed replace Emery.
Arsenal’s shortcomings in the defensive department are already well documented. The Gunners have lacked the presence of a technically gifted defender, who can ease the build-up play from the back, with both Sokratis and David Luiz struggling to distribute possession.
Marc Bartra, to that end, could emerge as a potential option. The Spaniard has worked under Enrique at Barcelona and is now quite a well-established defender, having enjoyed immense success during his ongoing spell at Real Betis.
Bartra is predominantly a ball-playing defender, who can use his laser passes to complete the transition from defence to midfield. Additionally, he can provide the much-needed composure in the Arsenal backline, though his positional awareness is not exactly up to the mark.
Ivan Rakitic was a key member of the Barcelona midfield under the reign of Enrique. In recent times, however, the Croatian has fallen out of favour and has rarely been utilised by current coach Ernesto Valverde.
The emergence of Arthur Melo coupled with the arrival of Frenkie de Jong has minimised Rakitic’s gametime to just 197 minutes of league football so far, which is unacceptable for a player of his calibre. And with his contract expiring in 2021, a move away from Nou Camp could be on the horizon.
Arsenal, in that regard, could be an ideal suitor for the midfielder. He knows Enrique quite well and would fit in well with the technically gifted bunch of Arsenal midfielders like Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi.
It remains doubtful whether Barcelona would actually agree to offload Sergi Roberto. But, Enrique could definitely try to push for a move for the Spanish international, who should be an excellent fit for Arsenal.
Roberto is primarily a utility player. He is advertised as a central midfielder, but he can also feature as a right-back as well as a right-sided midfielder. That means he can provide competition for Hector Bellerin and would be an upgrade over Calum Chambers, whose lack of quality on the ball has cost Arsenal, at times this season.
Moreover, he can also provide depth in central midfield, especially if Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira leave Emirates in the upcoming January transfer window.
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