After another summer of frustration in the transfer window, Arsenal fans had something to smile about yesterday. According to reports from The Metro, Arsenal has agreed a deal to sign Bayern Munich and Brazil midfielder Luis Gustavo.
The deal, thought to be around the £14 million mark represents a new urgency from the club to get their deals done. After much promise from the Arsenal board at the start of the summer, the Gunners are yet to spend a penny and after being drawn to face a very experienced Fenerbache side in the Champions league qualifiers and the new season fast approaching, that new urgency is understandable.
So, what can we expect from Gustavo? Is he just another reject from a big European club who only Wenger thinks will benefit his team, or is he the man to kick start Arsenal’s off season?
Standing at 6ft 2inches, Gustavo would add some much needed muscle to Arsenal’s somewhat lightweight midfield. He is renowned for his tough tackling, something Arsenal sorely need, and as well as excelling in the physical side of his game, he also has an eye for a pass, getting himself a 93% pass completion rate for the entirety of last season. Furthermore, despite primarily playing as a defensive midfielder, he can also play at both left back and centre back, giving Arsenal strength in depth in more than one position, something else the Londoners have been lacking. He is a great header of the ball and comes with the defensive discipline that the club’s current midfield needs, something that can prove priceless in European competitions. To add to this, he is also an experienced international and has experience of top level competition as he comes from last season’s Champions league winners Bayern Munich, meaning he should be able to make a contribution straight away.
The former Corinthians man would also help Arsenal offensively. By sitting back and acting as a bulletproof vest for Arsenal’s defence, this would allow the creative influences of Cazorla and Wilshere to push forward and not be hampered by their defensive responsibilities. This will give Arsenal much more firepower in the final third and would take the strain off Olivier Giroud who struggled at times last season due to the midfield sitting too deep, and not offering him any support. However, with Gustavo now covering, they can push up and support the big Frenchman, and put amends to their lacklustre goal tally from last season.
So, the move seems to promise only good effects for both player and club. The Brazilian would add some much needed reinforcement to a threadbare midfield and would fit right into Arsenal’s style of play. It would also be a statement of intent from the Gunners, who after months of speculation have finally shown their hand and, for the moment, seem to have got their man.