Saturday, December 3, 2022

Arsenal Face Big Stumbling Block In Pursuit Of This Defender: Should Arteta Break The Bank For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Arsenal are facing a big stumbling block in pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva this summer. The same source has also revealed that PSG had already reached out to the player and his representatives to discuss a contract extension which could see him earn between €4m-5m which is three times less than what he is currently making at the French capital.

It is believed that the player has rejected that proposal and thus, opened the door for the Gunners along with Everton, Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona to land him for free in this off-season. Any interested club will have to improve PSG’s offer if they want to acquire the Brazilian’s services during the summer transfer window (via Le10Sport).

With Mesut Ozil making a ton of money at North London, it seems unlikely that Mikel Arteta will have the financial power to offer Silva a lucrative contract. Hence, his high wage demands will be a huge stumbling block for Arsenal as they cannot afford to pay such a sum to a 35-year-old defender, who is currently in the last legs of his playing career.

Silva’s Solid Form At Parc Des Princes Last Season

The ex-AC Milan centre-back had featured in 30 matches for PSG last season, scoring one goal and providing one assist on all fronts. More importantly, he enjoyed a decent run of form on the defensive end of the field after averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 2.7 clearances and 3.2 long balls per game in the Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League before the football world came to a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He can also distribute the ball with a lot of precision as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 95.5% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Arsenal face big stumbling block in pursuit of Thiago Silva who is seen in the photo
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian defender Thiago Silva celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Liverpool FC at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on November 28, 2018. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Silva is vastly experienced at the international stage after representing Brazil in 88 senior matches while netting seven goals for his homeland in the process. He will be expected to play a crucial role in Brazil boss Tite’s first-team when the Copa America kicks off next year.

What Does The Brazil International Offer On The Pitch?

Silva has lost a yard of pace from his game over the past few years but can still be a dominant defender inside his own half. He is not afraid to get stuck in with a few tackles to secure possession back for his team and excels at reading the danger quickly so that he can make some vital last-gasp clearances at the back. The Brazilian centre-half can also use his strength to overpower the opposition and win a lot of headers at both ends of the field. However, father time is catching up with him, so it remains to be seen whether he can maintain his high standards in the coming seasons.

Should The Gunners Break The Bank To Get Silva On Board This Summer?

Recruiting a defender of Silva’s skill set and experience would have been an excellent piece of business for the North London giants in the short-term. He would have improved the quality of Arsenal’s first-team and enhanced their chances of winning trophies in the upcoming campaign.

As long as Arteta still has Ozil on high wages at the English capital, he won’t have enough space left in the wage bill to make room for a player of Silva’s expertise. The Spaniard needs to sell Ozil if he intends to push for high-profile free agents like Silva in the future. For now, the Gunners would be better of opting for a younger defender who won’t ask for a lucrative contract to join Arteta’s revolution at the Emirates Stadium. With all things considered, it seems far-fetched for a club like Arsenal to break the bank for a 35-year-old, who is currently on the decline, this summer.

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