According to a recent report by Daily Star, Arsenal have emerged as the favourites to land Real Madrid midfielder, Mateo Kovacic. Despite not having played regularly for the Spanish giants last season, he still has a lot of admirers and apart from the Gunners, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have also been linked with a move for him.
Besides, Metro has reported that the 24-year-old has expressed his desire of leaving Santiago Bernabeu to Julen Lopetegui, and it is claimed that Real Madrid want £45million for him. He garnered 21 appearances in La Liga last season, but only 10 of them were as starts. He needs to ply his trade on a regular basis to make the most of the potential he possesses and thus, he is justifiably looking for an exit.
Arsenal have been very active this summer in beefing up the quality of their armoury. Under the stewardship of their new boss, Unai Emery, the North London based outfit have already lured Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno to the Emirates Stadium. However, Emery has not ruled out the prospect of signing more players.
The Croatian international emerged through the youth ranks of LASK Linz and Dinamo Zagreb and was eventually promoted to the senior side of the latter. After making an impact in his country’s domestic competitions, he was signed by Inter Milan in the January transfer window of 2013 before switching to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015. However, his contributions for Los Blancos have been negligible.
Kovacic is a central midfielder by trade and ticks a lot of boxes required to be a top player. He has an excellent eye to engineer precise passes, has the ability to hold the ball meticulously and is a tough tackler. He might not be the strongest in the air but he knows how to work around his weakness. His positioning and awareness of the opposition’s intentions allow him to think a step ahead of his adversary.
However, his move to Arsenal does not make too much sense at this stage of the transfer window. The Premier League outfit already have a plethora of stars like Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Torreira to cater to their midfield needs and thus, the competition for a place in Emery’s starting line-up is expected to be fierce this season. And going by this summer’s signings, it does not look as if Emery will buy a star player looking desperately for regular gametime with the Gunners embarking on a new era with experiments bound to take place in the initial stages in the absence of Champions League football.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored