Arsenal target would struggle to fit into club’s midfield

A recent tradition of spending has appeased Arsenal fans’ frustrations at a lack of activity in transfer windows, but if Arsene Wenger keeps flooding the one area of his squad that is well stocked, those supporters may start pining for a return to the desolate days.

Latest transfer rumours claim that the Gunners will complete a £21m deal for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.

While such a signing would certainly align with the heavy-spending stance Wenger has taken during the shopping months of late, the Chilean’s arrival would add yet another body to an Arsenal middle band that already resembles a tin of sardines.

Midfield is unquestionably the strongest area of the pitch for the north Londoners and although Vidal carries a significant reputation as a box-to-box player, it’s debateable whether the Gunners actually need his services.

Francis Coquelin made the holding spot his own after getting a run in the side midway through last term, while Aaron Ramsey has been a lynchpin for Wenger in his ferrying role ever since he enjoyed a breakout 16-goal campaign in 2013/14.

Those two rate as the most likely starting duo in Wenger’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation in the coming campaign and that’s not even considering that Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are available as backups.

There is a case to be made that Vidal’s arrival would be a considerable upgrade on those elder statesmen, but the Juventus star’s game is more aligned with Ramsey’s than the screening duties Flamini and Arteta perform.

Furthermore, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky can all play further back, suggesting that Vidal’s presence would merely disrupt a clear cohesion among the Emirates club’s middle band or even tempt Wenger into a system change to accommodate his many midfield trinkets.

It’s widely acknowledged that, now Petr Cech has arrived to add security between the sticks, Arsenal are just a world-class striker away from mounting a serious title challenge.

With odds of such a tilt currently sat at 5/1, it seems that muddying the midfield water with a costly signing instead of saving the cash for the team’s needs up top will hinder, not help, that price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.