It is no secret that Arsenal, since the departure of Patrick Vieira many moons ago, have failed to find the right player for the holding midfield role. Many have tried and failed to adequately fill the void left in Arsenal’s midfield. This season has seen Arsenal adopt what’s become known as a double pivot with two players sharing the responsibility to defend against attack, cover the full backs when necessary and to launch attacks. It’s a widely used formation these days and gives the midfield greater flexibility, especially in attack.
This season has seen Arteta and Ramsey take on these roles and while recently they have handled it quite well overall, at times they’ve been incredibly poor. Many fans will agree that while they’ve done a good job towards the end of the season, the defensive side of our midfield has been a problem area for some time and has to be remedied if we are to mount a successful challenge for the title next season. Some fans feel that the ideal man for the job is the captain Thomas Vermaelen which isn’t a bad shout but with rumours surfacing that he might be looking for a move to ensure he doesn’t lose his place in the national team maybe we should be looking to bring in a quality holding midfielder if we can’t convince him to stay. Here’s a look at 2 potential targets that we have been linked with that might well be worth a look this summer.
Capoue is the tough tackling Toulouse defensive midfielder. He is a good tackler, strong and quick. He has the ability and confidence to run with the ball and is capable of scoring goals with 7 goals this season. He has a good range of passing and is a physical presence in the air good for both attacking and defending set pieces. He is also French so right up manager Arsene Wenger’s street and still young at 24. He would cost in the region of £15 million so great value for a promising young player. The only downside is that he does pick up a lot of bookings but that’s not really too much of a problem as you’d expect that from a defensive midfielder.
This 24 year old Frenchman currently plays for Lyon and is considered to be one of France’s top prospects. Gonalons has done well impressing a few top clubs since he turned pro in 2009. He is another player who isn’t afraid to get stuck into a tackle. He is quick and reads play well. He isn’t afraid to run with the ball but its not his biggest asset. At 6ft 2in he’s not a little fella and is good at defending set pieces as well as being a target for crosses going forward. He is a leader on the pitch which has earned him the captains armband which is something that perhaps Arsenal have lacked of late and he works hard but does have a habit of making late challeneges. He is also valued in the region of £15m. If he could up his offensive game and bang in a few more goals he would be a real great player.
There are probably better targets out there such as Blaise Matuidi of Paris St Germain who is my personal favourite in the holding midfield role but don’t think we are on his radar or us on his. Out of the two above that we have already been been linked too I’d prefer we went out and brought Capoue as I think he perhaps has a higher ceiling talent wise than Gonalons and is possibly the player that can fill the void in Arsenal’s midfield left by Patrick Viera. He has speed, power and an eye for goal and isn’t afraid to get stuck in. I feel having him in the team would mean we don’t need to have two players sharing the responsibility freeing up an extra man in midfield or attack. Alternatively a double pivot system of Capoue and Wilshere would be as formidable as any in the Premier League and paired with our defence who have come on leaps and bounds this season then we’d be massively stronger going into next season.