Arsenal Receive Blow In Pursuit Of La Liga’s Midfield Enforcer: A Missed Opportunity For Arteta?

Arsenal have received a setback in pursuit of Guido Rodriguez - He could have been an ideal coup.
ESP: Real Betis - Levante UD. La Liga Santander. Guido Rodriguez of Real Betis during the La Liga match between Real Betis and Levante UD played at Benito Villamarin Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Sevilla, Spain. Copyright: xAntonioxPozox/xPRESSINPHOTOx AP_210319_067

According to Estadio Deportivo, Arsenal have received a setback in pursuit of Guido Rodriguez. The Gunners are believed to be among clubs keeping a close eye on the Real Betis midfielder this summer, especially as the Spanish club struggles with the impact of Covid-19. However, it is believed that Betis are interested in keeping hold of Rodriguez beyond this summer, while the player himself is open to prolonging his stay at Benito Villamarin.

What Does Guido Rodriguez Offer To The Table?

Guido Rodriguez is currently one of Real Betis’ most important figures in the middle of the park, having enjoyed great success since his move from America in 2019. A defensive midfielder by trade, he has moved ahead of William Carvalho in the pecking order, notching up 25 appearances in the league so far this campaign.

Considered as one of the most lavish players in the current Betis setup, Rodriguez sports an eccentric personality which goes hand in hand with his combative style of play in midfield. Indeed, the Argentine is a tough tackler and a work-horse while also boasting immense physicality, aggression and leadership that make him one of the biggest assets for coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Rodriguez also has the ability to read the game, which often comes in handy when employing a more defence-oriented method. It is complemented by a decent set of passing skills – making him quite a complete midfielder.

Arsenal have received a setback in pursuit of Guido Rodriguez - He is a tough tackler in midfield.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Joaquin Corchero/Shutterstock 11816424bl Jorge de Frutos of Levante and Guido Rodriguez of Real Betis during LaLiga, football match played between Real Betis Balompie and Levante Union Deportiva at Benito Villamarin Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Sevilla, Spain. Soccer: LaLiga – Real Betis v Levante, Sevilla, Spain – 19 Mar 2021 Soccer: LaLiga – Real Betis v Levante, Sevilla, Spain – 19 Mar 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xJoaquinxCorchero/Shutterstockx 11816424bl

A Big Blow For Mikel Arteta?

Arsenal will certainly rue missing out on the services of Guido Rodriguez knowing the quality he offers in the middle of the park. His consistency, aggression and leadership would have made him an ideal alternative and perhaps even an upgrade over Granit Xhaka at Emirates. It should also combine well with the equally combative nature of Thomas Partey, thus further solidifying Arsenal’s second line of press.

The Gunners are already short of options in the middle of the park, especially with both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard set to return to Real Madrid following the end of their respective loan spells. Mohamed Elneny is an option but the Egyptian could never really make an impact after initially enjoying a promising start to the campaign.

As such, someone like Rodriguez could have been a welcome arrival for Mikel Arteta. His style of play is ideally suited to the Spaniard’s rather cautious and balanced approach in midfield. But with a move to Emirates out of the window, it will be interesting to see whether the Gunners will now set their sights on other alternatives this summer.

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.