Arsenal FC’s pursuit of a suitable defensive midfielder seems to have led their scouts as far east as Germany, where Borussia Monchengladbach’s Swiss sensation Granit Xhaka is making waves with his performances.
Monchengladbach are currently contending for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga, and their Swiss star has been an instrumental member of the team this season.
Arsenal FC have had a longstanding problem with the holding midfield position, with most of their playmakers being of the attacking type. However, this season, they have found someone who can do the dirty work in the middle of the park in the form of Francis Coquelin.
Unfortunately, Coquelin’s injury seems to have forced Wenger’s hand to look for another holding midfielder and his scouts are reported to have turned their attention towards Xhaka, according to the Daily Mail.
Arsenal FC’s holding midfield woes
While Francis Coquelin has been a bit of a revelation this season, Arsenal FC have been struggling since the Frenchman suffered a knee injury, which has kept him out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
Coquelin’s injury affected the performance of the entire team adversely, as they suffered a mid-season slump in November. The Gunners failed to win any match in that month.
However, Xhaka is not a player who would come cheap. The Swiss international’s contract runs till 2019, and is one of the top prospects in Europe a the moment. Borussia Monchengladbach bought him for a 9 million, but stand to make more that double that, as he is valued at around a 20 million (via Transfermarkt.com).
With such a long spell still to go at Monchengladbach, Xhaka is sure to cost Arsenal Fc much more than a 20 million.
Neves, Carvalho also on Arsenal’s radar
Arsenal FC have also been reportedly looking at FC Porto sensation Ruben Neves, and Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho as replacement for the injured Coquelin. Carvalho has long been regarded as the next Sergio Busquets, and the 23-year-old Portuguese has age on his side to make the move to a bigger club.
Meanwhile, Ruben Neves has been one of the sensations of the season for FC Porto, but the 18-year-old might not yet move to a bigger club, looking instead to build himself in the Portuguese league.