Arsenal target Etienne Capoue has admitted he wants to leave current club Toulouse, opening the way for a move to the Gunners, however they face stiff competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain and Italian giants AC Milan.
Arsenal are in the market for a holding midfielder and have been linked with the likes of Lars Bender and Yann M’Vila but see Capoue as a player that could improve their squad. At only 24, the player has plenty of years at the top-level left and is yet to reach his peak.
He is a tall, physical player with exceptional passing ability, which would help him at Arsenal. A player with the physique to win aerial duels, be strong in the tackle, fit enough to shield the defence while helping the team attack. He is an injury-free version of Abou Diaby and a taller version of Alex Song.
Capoue broke in to the French national team last year and is currently on international duty with Les Bleus after making five appearances. He has stated his future will not be spoken about until after facing Brazil on Sunday. “Right now, I am with the national team and I continue to represent TFC. We will talk about it again after June 10.”
However, his future appears to be away from Toulouse. “If he (Casanova) wants to keep me, that is good. That says that he counts on me, that he is happy with me.But it is football. I feel it is the moment to leave, to play in big competitions.” Capoue told L’Equipe.
Arsenal could certainly offer the midfielder what he desires and with them piping Spurs to fourth place in the Premier League, they are able to offer Champions League football making them a more attractive option than the White Hart Lane outfit.
Jan Vertonghen was a target of both Arsenal and Tottenham last season but Arsenal’s Champions League qualification didn’t help with the Ajax defender choosing Andre Villas-Boas’ side so that doesn’t guarantee players choosing the Gunners over Arsenal but if Capoue really wants to play in the big competitions, then AC Milan and PSG would also be listed above Tottenham as respective future employers.
Arsenal’s unusually big transfer budget has seen some of globe’s top players with David Villa, Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic, Julio Cesar, Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas all associated with moves to the Emirates. However Arsenal is in real need of defensive stability, something Capoue will be able to offer.