Tuesday, March 28, 2023

This Liverpool Midfielder Is Targeted By Arsenal: Can He Solve Arteta’s Midfield Problems?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Express, Mikel Arteta is keen on bolstering his squad in the summer by signing a few free agents. One of the players the Gunners are targeting is Adam Lallana. The Liverpool midfielder is widely expected to leave Anfield, with his current contract expiring at the end of the season.

Arsenal need a new playmaker

Following Aaron Ramsey’s departure in the summer, Arsenal have struggled in the creative department. The Welshman’s ability to not only complete transition in play but also create chances in the final third has been missing.

Although Dani Ceballos has shown glimpses of his talent, the Spaniard has struggled with injuries and hasn’t extensively made an impact in English football. Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil has improved a lot under Mikel Arteta. But, he, too, hasn’t done enough to add more quality to Arsenal’s creative unit.

As a result, the Gunners have continued to rely on wide attackers as well as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and his ability to convert chances. And this needs to change if they are to emerge as a resurgent force in the Premier League next season.

What can Lallana bring into the table?

Lallana wouldn’t solve Arsenal’s creative problems in the blink of an eye. Truth be told, he is no replacement for Ozil. However, the Liverpool star can certainly provide Arteta with more creative options at his disposal. It would be useful if we consider the fact that Arsenal have often relied on the inexperienced Joe Willock as the primary alternative for Ozil.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 04: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks on during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Moreover, Lallana’s industry and work-rate in midfield could tune in well with an Arsenal side that have appeared more hard-working under the leadership of Arteta. He is also an experienced individual, having made almost 200 Premier League appearances.

However, what makes Lallana such an appealing target for the Gunners is his versatility. He can be utilised as a number eight as well as a number ten. Also, he can operate in the wider midfield roles.

An injury-prone individual

Despite Lallana’s experience and versatility, it won’t be fair to overlook the poor injury record that might make him a bad investment for Arsenal.

Indeed, Lallana has been one of the unluckiest Premier League players in recent memory. The attacking midfielder has suffered from several injuries, including a hamstring problem. In fact, the Englishman has endured 11 different spells on the sidelines due to injury, since joining Liverpool in 2014.

As a result, the 31-year-old has featured in a total of just over 1,000 minutes of Premier League football since the start of the 2017/18 campaign. It is a poor record indeed for a player, and hence, it would perhaps be wiser for Arteta to look at other alternatives in the market.

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