The Future of Our Midfield
All Arsenal fans are crying out for a new defensive enforcer to be signed by Wenger this summer. The fans favourite is Yaya Toure, whilst we have also been linked with Miguel Veloso and whilst Mohamadou Diarra who was the hottest property a couple of seasons ago cold be the man we need.
What we have not addressed is what happens to our current crop of players.
Without doubt there is no argument that Cesc is a starter, but what about Denilson, Diaby and Song. What happens to the players one level below these, Ramsey, Randall, Merida and Wilshere or what happens to Lansbury, the next best thing to come out of the academy?
Part of the Arsene’s grand scheme was that these players were to form part of a conveyor belt of young talent being prepared for the first team squad. If we buy, and we all agree we need to buy, a central midfielder then at least one of the first group will probably leave and perhaps we would also lose Randall. Every action has a consequence and this will be the consequence of that action.
Of the first group of players they all have their merits and their weaknesses.
Diaby should be the ideal central midfielder, he has the built and strength and should have made this position his last season, but he either failed to take his chances or Wenger often played him out on the wing.
Song started to establish himself as a central midfield dynamo, breaking up attacks and offering the shield to the defence that had been missing for most of the season. Wenger however, does not consider Song as a midfielder in the long run. Arsene sees Song as a centre back, though he has been reluctant to play him their in matches that count.
Denilson has been much maligned this season. Too many people look at him and do not see an attacking player; they see him as a negative player who too often plays the ball sideways. They forget that a true defensive midfielder is not supposed to attack, their job is to be the proverbial “water carrier”, and this is the role that Denilson performs.
Whoever comes in the players further down the pecking order will start to ask the question, what happens to me. We saw last season that both Ramsey and Wilshere are capable of playing in the first team. There is no doubt that they will become first team squad regulars over the next couple of seasons, but what of Randall and Merida? Randall made a few bench appearances but his star has faded. He will either accept two seasons on loan to further his career or he will follow that well trodden path and join Sidwell, Bentley, Muamba and Larsson in leaving the club before they have had a chance to show their potential.
These are all factors that Arsene must weigh up when signs a player that everyone agrees we need, which of his crop of midfielders does he sell?