Arsenal have made some smart signings since Unai Emery took over as the manager this summer. Emery has addressed some key issues in the squad and one of the latest reports states that Brazilian winger Bernard could make a move to the North London club.
The Gunners are obviously looking to beef up their squad in order to stay relevant and subsequently put up a decent fight in all competitions next season. Bernard is a Shakhtar Donetsk player and specializes while playing on the left wing.
Arsenal’s main issues arise from the back end of their pitch but that should not deter Emery from bolstering the forward line too. Arsenal will be looking to grab a Champions League spot at least and accordingly, they have to prepare their squad for that level. Bernard is out of contract currently and hence that naturally means that the Gunners wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee for him.
Bernard: Player Profile
Bernard is quite a skilful winger, as he is quick on the flanks and can beat his marker with his box of tricks and flicks. He is tenacious to some extent but the majority of his work is to provide goal-scoring opportunities from the wing. He can cut in effectively well and poses a potent threat due to his ability to take shots from distance and quick decision-making inside the box. He can stretch the defender to the byline and delivers some good crosses into the box while his gameplay also allows him to occupy the half-spaces and stitch in some crucial passes.
His pace means that Bernard makes it difficult for his adversary to keep up with him and hence Bernard always has a tad bit of advantage whilst playing on the flank. Shakhtar progressed until the knockout stages of the Champions League last season and Bernard appeared in all the matches.
In eight matches, he scored thrice but did not provide any assists. Bernard put in 1.4 tackles on an average and intercepted the ball on 1.8 occasions per match too. He delivered 1.4 key passes per game and successfully dribbled the ball 2.1 times on an average. Bernard’s overall stats from this Champions League season indicates that he is a committed wing-player, someone who places equal emphasis on both the defensive and offensive aspects of his game.
Should Arsenal make a move?
Emery looks to be adding some quality players to the roster and Bernard might turn out to be a smart move too. The Brazilian might not be the most remarkable of players but he gets the required job done regularly and would be a good candidate for a ‘Plan B’.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored