It is a known fact that things are quickly falling apart at St. James Park and because of that, some key figures in that club are no longer at ease. Manager Alan Pardew is currently working a tight rope no thanks to the string of poor results. Pressure is mounting on owner Mike Ashley to axe him.
Pardew’s desire to change the fortunes of the club has not been helped by the declaration of one of the mainstays of the Magpies Chiek Tiote to jump ship and look for pastures new elsewhere. The Ivorian revealed that he was ready to leave Newcastle for a bigger club. He claimed Arsenal have met with his representatives. Though he wasn’t categorically saying he was moving to the Emirates but he gave a big hint by declaring his preference for a Premier League stay.
Albeit there is no smoke without fire, it is not a surprise that Tiote has been linked with a move to Arsenal. The Gunners are lacking steel in the middle of the park. Despite Wenger’s many efforts at securing a defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window, he failed to secure one. The lack of a quality defensive midfielder was evident against Dortmund whose lightning quick counter attacks saw them defeat Arsenal. Arteta’s incessant injuries has also not helped matters.
Wenger’s pursuit of Cavarlho failed largely because of the Gunners’ reluctance to meet Sporting Lisbon’s asking price. To this end, Wenger might see Tiote who could cost in the region of 15m Pounds a cheaper alternative.
But on the long run, is Tiote te solution? Tiote is currently 29, just a year younger than Flamini but as reckless as the Frenchman. Arsenal shouldn’t only be looking for a defensive midfielder but one who is adept at centre back too. Most defensive midfielders can play as central defenders but can a reckless Tiote be entrusted to such sensitive responsibility without giving away needless penaties and collecting unnecessary cards?
If Wenger is still reluctant about paying so much for Cavarlho who I believe would be a good worth of the money since he is young with his best years still ahead of him. Then, he should go for Milner. The English midfielder is not only more versatile and also less reckless but firm, he would also cost far less since he has less than a year on his contract.
If Wenger is looking at getting a defensive midfielder in January, the only edge Tiote would have is eligibility for Champions League football but on the long run, Milner would be the shrewd acquisition. He might not be qualified to play in the Champions League but he would be able to help in the domestic competitions. Who knows, Arsenal might still be very much in the title race and his arrival might just give that extra push to claim it.