New Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants to bring Steven N’Zonzi back to the Premier League as the Spaniard eyes a reunion with one of his trusted former charges.
It seems like Arsenal’s summer plans are to start with Unai Emery eyeing a reunion with one of his former charges, Steven N’Zonzi from Sevilla. According to the Mirror, Emery feels the former Blackburn and Stoke star would be the right fit for Arsenal’s midfield in the next season
Arsenal are expected to bring few players in different position, and the central midfield is primarily a critical area where the club are looking at recruits. While they have, been linked with a few names such as Nice’s Jean Michel Seri and Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini, Emery seems to be intent on bringing N’Zonzi to the Emirates.
Arsenal’s central midfield problems have been highlighted in the past, and the absence of a genuine defensive midfielder has been mooted as the reason for their recent demise and lack of control over games. Since the break-up of the Cazorla-Coquelin partnership, Arsenal have genuinely struggled in that area.
Although last season Arsene Wenger did his best to resurrect a budding partnership in midfield with Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka doing well as the season wore on, Emery still feels a defensive midfield will bring in a strong foothold over games that Arsenal must win. N’Zonzi has been a rock in his position and has had an extensive career to date, especially during his time with Emery at Sevilla.
Emery did have a stumbling block in convincing the Arsenal hierarchy, especially head of recruitment Sven Mislintat to sanction a deal. Mislintat was thought to be eyeing a move for Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, although now it is understood he is ready to approve a move for N’Zonzi on the recommendation of Emery.
Despite last season when N’Zonzi was not preferred to play for periods, the France international still managed 44 appearances for the club in all competitions. There were some off-field problems with Sevilla until January, yet that did not do anything to harm his form, and his call-up to France’s world cup squad is evidence of that.
Emery feels that N’Zonzi would fit in well with the Premier League as well as what Arsenal are seeking in their new defensive midfielder signing. The Frenchman on the other hand, is no stranger to Premier League football, with previous spells at Blackburn and Stoke.
N’Zonzi is also reportedly interested in the move and the chance to link up with his former boss Emery at the Emirates. The only blockade that remains comes in the form of what Sevilla might demand for N’Zonzi as well as convincing the Arsenal board to shell out what would be necessary for the player they were linked in January.
N’Zonzi’s presence in the Arsenal midfield is sure to boost the prospects of the Gunners next season as he is an experienced player, as well as knows the game well in England. His all-action, no-nonsense style is what Arsenal have been missing for a number of seasons and could prove to be crucial on their way back to the top of their game.