Arsene Wenger and the Gunners have entered the race for Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi.
The Daily Express claim that Arsenal have made inquiries about signing the French international, with N’zonzi looking set to leave Sevilla this month. Reports emerged last week that N’Zonzi was the subject of a three-way battle between Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus, with all three having reportedly made contact with Sevilla over a deal.
Chelsea’s interest in the midfielder has been long standing, with Antonio Conte said to be a long-time admirer of the former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City midfielder. With Cesc Fabregas on the bench more often than not, Conte is said to be looking to add numbers to his midfield.
However, the Express claim that Arsene Wenger has now joined the race for the £25m rated Sevilla midfielder. They state that Sevilla are resigned to losing their star man and that they are willing to talk to clubs about a potential transfer as long, as they are paid what they are asking for.
This is not the first time Arsenal have been linked with the midfielder, as there were several reports of Wenger’s interest in N’Zonzi before the Frenchman eventually joined Sevilla from Stoke City in 2015 for a fee of around £7m.
The move came as a bit of a surprise at the time, as N’Zonzi was already making a reputation for himself in England as a fine central midfielder.
This season, N’Zonzi has been one of Sevilla’s most consistent performers. He has made a total of 21 appearances for the Spanish side across all competitions, scoring 3 goals, picking up 1 assist and earning 2 Man of the Match awards in the process. He has also averaged a pass success rate of 89.9%, something that is sure to impress Arsene Wenger.
N’Zonzi has also registered an average of 136.8 successful short passes across all competitions and plays an average of 8.9 successful long balls per game. A box-to-box midfielder who is comfortable on the ball and tracks back regularly, it is no surprise the 28-year old is attracting interest from big clubs all over the world.
However it seems highly unlikely that Arsenal will stump up the cash for him, especially if they are dragged into a bidding war. With Santi Cazorla, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey all central midfielders on their books, Arsenal are well-stocked in that position and are in no need of reinforcements.
Wenger also admitted yesterday that he had no plans of dipping into the transfer market in January, citing the players returning from injury as a good enough reason not to. It seems very unlikely that N’Zonzi will actually move to the Emirates, despite what the Daily Express claim.