I am avoiding the transfer rumor marathon that is the silly season, but Arsenal will pick up a few new people. That’s a fact. As an early profile, here are three french players that have a chance to become Gunners. Each one combines price, impact, and two of them would publicize a strong message about Arsenal’s title ambitions, the third less so, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be critical to future success.
The key to any purchase for Arsenal is to find that talent that isn’t being bid on by ManCiteh, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona, or ManU, (or the overspending Italian triumvirate of Juve, AC, and Inter) but still has amazing upside. Oddly enough, that’s still possible. Koscielny is a good example.
So with that mind, here are three French players that fit the bill. I might, emphasize might, address Spain, Germany, Italy, and ROW later.
1. Yann M’Vila. This purchase won’t be cheap, ~£18M if the rumor is accurate. And, full disclosure, this is my big “hope” for the summer. Only 22 when the new season starts, M’Vila has huge potential he’s already fulfilling. Song has been a beast in the midfield, but he is not a natural DM. Song is a CB with immense talent and it shows. M’Vila on the other hand, is the DM Arsenal have been looking for. He closes down space, has technical skills, power, pace, the whole package, and is a silent foundation of the French national team, like a certain Bacary Sagna. A 4231 with Song and M’Vila as the two DMs would be title worthy, all else being equal.
2. Yoann Gourcuff. Here’s a player that wants to come to Arsenal, but the circumstances just haven’t been right. Gourcuff is a special talent. On the one hand, he’s more technically gifted than most, truly, a 99 percenter. But he’s also one of those players that has to feel comfortable in order to play to his potential; unlike, say Tevez.
The truth is, Arsenal probably should have picked up Gourcuff a year ago. Instead, Gourcuff’s experience at Lyon has been a disaster and Arsenal are lacking that creative spark. But that doesn’t mean Gourcuff doesn’t fit Arsenal today. A 4231 with some combination of Gourcuff, Wilshere, and Song; or, fingers crossed, Gourcuff, M’Vila, and Wilshere, is again, title worthy. He also screams potential manager in the future (his father is Christian Gourcuff).
3. Étienne Capoue. There are several players that can be put here, e.g. Eden Hazard or Marvin Martin. But the likelihood of getting them is very unlikely. More likely is a move for Capoue (or his teammate Sissoko). Both of which, again, are defensive midfielders. Notice a theme? Some of this is because France is developing a wicked pipeline of DM’s. The other reason is that Arsenal desperately need a natural DM. Capoue fills that role. The current vice-captain of Toulouse, Capoue is only 23 and has been steadily developing (if you glance at his stats) every year. He sounds just like a Wenger pickup.