Monday, August 15, 2022

Arsenal Keen On Signing A Holding Midfielder: 3 Cheap Options Arteta Can Target Including Bayern Ace

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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 Mirror, Arsenal are looking to bolster their defensive options by signing a new holding midfielder this summer. The Gunners are likely to lose Dani Ceballos while Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi fell out of favour during the second half of the ongoing campaign.

Therefore, manager Mikel Arteta could undoubtedly use some reliable backup for Granit Xhaka. But, given the financial toll inflicted by the Coronavirus, the north London giants are likely to operate on a small budget. So in this article, we will be looking at three cost-effective options Arteta could look forward to, in his bid to strengthen the number six slot next season.

Robin Koch

Robin Koch is one of the most sought-after defensive players in the market at the moment, with clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham being linked with the SC Freiburg star this season. And for good reasons as the German has emerged as a rising star in the Bundesliga over the past 12 months.

Despite being a centre-back by trade, Koch is capable of operating in the holding midfield slot. His imposing 1.92m frame, combined with his ability to read the game would make him an ideal partner to Xhaka in the double-pivot of Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 shape. Koch’s defence-oriented style of play will complement the much more robust and aggressive figure of his Swiss counterpart.

The German international can provide substantial cover for the backline, making Arsenal much more effective in the second line of press. However, what makes Koch such an appealing target for the Gunners is his reported valuation of just £10.5 million. Given the quality of the player, that is an absolute steal.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – OCTOBER 09: Robin Koch of Germany is seen during the International Friendly between Germany and Argentina at Signal Iduna Park on October 09, 2019, in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Marc Roca

Roca is the only player on this list, who has actually been linked with a move to Arsenal at some point this season. It seems Arteta has an excellent idea of the player, who is identified as a fully-fledged holding midfielder.

But, what makes the Athletic Bilbao ace, a class apart, is his ability not just to defend but also distribute the ball all across the pitch. It is doubtful whether Arteta would want to accommodate two similar players in the same formation. But, in any case, Roca would at least be an excellent replacement for Xhaka.

It is believed that Roca will cost around £26 million, which is a reasonable value for a player of his calibre. His Spanish connection with Arteta could serve as a catalyst for his potential success in the Premier League, thus making him an interesting option for the Gunners.

Javi Martinez

Javi Martinez is among the Bayern Munich players who are facing an uncertain future at the club. Following the arrival of Hansi Flick, the Bavarians are expected to undergo a squad overhaul. And the ageing players, including Martinez, could face the axe.

The Spaniard is one of the long-serving players for the Bundesliga outfit and is by far the most experienced player on this list. He has made 232 competitive appearances for Bayern as well as featuring in 250 matches with his previous club Athletic Bilbao.

Martinez’s vast experience at the highest level of football, combined with his leadership and winning mentality, could have a positive impact at Arsenal. Not to mention, he could be available on a cut-price this summer, with his Bayern Munich contract expiring at the end of next season.

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