Mikel Arteta Had Pulled The Plug On Arsenal’s Pursuit Of Bundesliga Ace: A Mistake By The Spaniard?

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 26: Kevin Volland of Leverkusen looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SV Werder Bremen at BayArena on October 26, 2019 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

As revealed by ESPN, Mikel Arteta had played a central role behind Arsenal calling off the pursuit of Kevin Volland mid-season. The Bayer Leverkusen star was courted by former manager Unai Emery and even Freddie Ljungberg. However, when Arteta took charge in December, he was quick to inform the club’s hierarchy to stop pursuing the attacker.

How has Volland fared in the Bundesliga this season?

Volland has established himself as a key player following his €20 million move to Bayer Leverkusen in 2016. Especially under Peter Bosz, he has become the club’s primary source of productivity, with the forward scoring 49 goals in 139 competitive matches for Die Werkself.

Last season, Volland enjoyed the most productive campaign of his career, having been involved in 26 goals. The ex-Hoffenheim star has been able to replicate his performances in the ongoing campaign, scoring nine goals and registering eight assists in just 22 matches. His contributions in the final third have been critical in helping Leverkusen compete for the Champions League places.

However, in February, Volland’s progress was stalled by a ligament tear that ruled him out for at least three months. Fortunately for him, though, the Bundesliga was suspended due to the Coronavirus, meaning the German has only missed three games so far.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 28: Kevin Volland of Bayer 04 Leverkusen reacts during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at WWK-Arena on September 28, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What can he bring to the Arsenal side?

During his time at Hoffenheim, Volland was often criticised for his inconsistent nature in front of goal. He had a knack for missing clear cut opportunities and lacking concentration. However, the 27-year-old has improved his game significantly following his Leverkusen move.

The German international is now identified as a lethal forward, whose hard-working nature, combined with aggression, has made him a productive outlet in the first line of press. He is also quite versatile and can operate in the wider attacking role, though he has predominantly featured as a central striker at Leverkusen.

Why Arsenal must sign Volland this summer

Volland has shown that he is capable of performing at the highest level of football and could be a cost-effective option in Arsenal’s bid to bolster their attacking options. The German could serve as an alternative to the misfiring Alexandre Lacazette while he can also be deployed at left-wing, much like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Moreover, Volland’s tenacious nature would make him an ideal fit for Arteta’s tactical style. It is combined with a host of tactical possibilities he could offer to the table, meaning the Gunners must rekindle their interest in the Leverkusen attacker this summer if they are to strengthen their offensive unit further.

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.