Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday night, and it seems as though Luis Enrique is not the only man leaving the Blaugrana in the summer. A summer squad overhaul is expected, and Arsenal look set to land Arda Turan if reports are to be believed. We take a look at 3 reasons why Arda would be a hit at Arsenal.
Arda fits Arsenal’s philosophy
Turan is a great dribbler, with an eye for a defence-splitting pass. The Turk is strong, hard to knock off the ball and has a supreme technical ability. It only makes sense then that Arsene Wenger is waiting in the wings to sign the Turkey international.
He was the creative force in the most successful era of Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. Although he would like to play more in this Barcelona set up, displacing Andres Iniesta (even though the Spaniard has not been at his imperious best this season) is not an easy task. Arda finds himself lower down the pecking order and used only for matches in the Copa del Rey.
A combination of injury and form has seen him miss a lot of matches for Barcelona this season. He has mustered a measly 17 league appearances this season, finding the net just three times and providing a further 3 assists. Not what you expect when you are a guy who was bought for a whopping 35 million euros, right?
Arsenal, meanwhile, are on course to miss out on Champions League football for the first time since Wenger took over. They have been too dependent on former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez for their goals. Though the Chilean has not succumbed to the pressure, notching 19 goals, it is time for Arsenal to spend the seemingly infinite war chest they have been sitting on.
Arda represents a solid short-term alternative
Spending 25 million on a celebrated attacking midfielder who is in his thirties might not be very enticing for the Arsenal board. But this is a deal worth taking because, if it comes off, then Arda can set the Premier League alight. Much like Mesut Ozil did when he arrived on deadline day four seasons ago.
An attacking midfielder, Arda can offer a lot to this side, as he is also very energetic and will come back to help out the defence. Tracking back has never been one of Ozil’s strong points.
If Ozil weren’t to leave, then the whole dynamic of the Arsenal would change.
Arda would line-up alongside Ozil and say Walcott on the other side, with Sanchez playing through the middle. That would cause a marking headache for any defence as the attack will have pace, nous on the ball, world class dribbling and a penchant for picking teammates out.
It provides the added incentive of seeing Arda playing on the right wing, which Lionel Messi occupies at Barcelona. This role is more familiar to Turan as he has played there for most of his career.
Turan offers the winning mentality and mettle Arsenal lack
Arda Turan was part of the Atletico side that won the Europa League, La Liga and reached the final of the Champions League. Very few Arsenal players can say that.
If this move were to happen, then Arda would add grit and determination to an Arsenal side lacking the will power and drive for so many seasons now.
Turan is a serial winner. He is someone Arsenal’s players can look up to.
He is a great character in the dressing room. Turan would bring to Arsenal some much-needed impetus. The kind that Alexis Sanchez shows week in, week out.