In his 18 years as the manager of Arsenal , Arsene Wenger has experienced many ups and downs. From being credited for changing the way football was played in England , to being too obsessed with his preferred tactics and his aversion to change. Once heralded as the man who first scoured the European and African market successfully and brought us gems like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Cesc Fabregas among others , he has more recently been accused for his stubbornness in sticking with failures such as Abou Diaby and Nicolas Bendtner.
Wenger’s reign at Arsenal can be broadly classified into two eras , pre-Emirates and post-Emirates. The Pre-Emirates Wenger built the dynasty that Arsenal are today and gave us the immortal Invincibles. The post-Emirates era was mired by parsimony and Wenger’s reluctance to spend big. Arsenal won their first trophy in 8 years in the FA Cup triumph of 2013/14 which was swiftly followed by another one last season. However, time is running out for the Arsenal Wenger to build a last title winning team at the Gunners as he enters into what many believe is his penultimate season at the helm.Next season represents the best chance Wenger has to take a reasonable tilt at the title.
Arsenal have moved quickly to address the major deficiency they had in acquiring Petr Cech’s services. In the long and illustrious career that Wenger has had, he has never truly had a keeper of Cech’s ability.He has that now. In front of him is a well drilled back four that is one of the best in the league and is likely to improve with time. Arsenal have one of the best midfields in Europe, let alone England , and are expected to add Dortmund star Aubameyang to their forward line this summer.
That leaves us with a simple question :
What can Wenger add next to ensure his team win the title next season ? A multi faceted question which may have a single name as its answer – Luiz Gustavo. The Brazilian midfielder is perhaps one the most versatile players in the world , capable of slotting in at left back, center back, defensive midfield as well as having the ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder. With over 30 caps for Brazil and having played for European heavyweights Bayern, Gustavo has the crucial experience to thrive at the big stage. He ticks all the boxes for the sort of player Arsenal need. More importantly, having a player of his ilk provides you the luxury of having quality cover for four positions at a time.
If Arsenal can convince Gustavo to part with Wolfsburg and join them, they would be getting an upgrade on the inexperienced Francis Coquelin. Throw in the expected signing of Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and Gunners have a hell of a midfield , with players like Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla also capable of stepping in.
Not just that, given Kieran Gibbs injury record and Nacho Monreal’s erratic performances , he also provides valuable cover at left back should Arsenal desire so, having started his career at that position. The Brazilian has also played formerly at center back for Bayern Munich and can slot in there for Arsenal who have only three recognized central defenders and any injury concerns will see Arsenal short at the back.
Gustavo’s versatility has another aspect to it. He is also capable of playing the marauding role of a box-to-box midfielder should need arise, having previously done so for Brazil and Wolfsburg. He can act as a valuable alternative for Arsenal at that position.
The positives of having Luiz Gustavo far outweigh any significant fee that Wolfsburg are expected to demand for the player , because the player is multi talented and provides an answer to Wenger in not just one, but four positions. At long last, Arsenal may have finally found the man to propel them to the much coveted Premier League crown.