Calamity-driven Spanish club Valencia have provided a number of top players to Premier League clubs in the past and Spanish left-back Jose Luis Gaya is set to be the latest to exit the Mestalla Stadium with Arsenal reportedly interested according to the Mirror.
A Valencia academy graduate with nearly 100 games already to his name, Gaya is an example of one of the few things still going right at the club enduring such a disastrous season sitting at 17th in the La Liga table as it threatens itself to make Englishman Gary Neville’s short 4-month spell in charge last season look like a success.
Only goal difference has kept them out of the drop zone at the end the year despite those below them namely Sporting Gijon, Granada and Osasuna recording historic lows for the number of points after 16 games in any La Liga season.
The report also adds that Arsenal targeting Gaya points out that the North London club is planning on extending French manager Arsene Wenger’s contract for another spell as his current contract ends this season. Gaya has a €50m buyout clause.
Another Spanish left-back and Gunner Nacho Monreal was criticized last weekend for his performance in the 2-1 defeat to a dominant Manchester City side without the likes of Sergio Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho & Ilkay Gundogan.
Monreal’s mistake eventually led to the Raheem Sterling goal which won the match for City at the Etihad stadium. However, the 30-year old full-back has been impressing many managers & pundits for the past few seasons at the Emirates Stadium and he even made his way back to the Spain National football team in stunning fashion.
But given Wenger’s inclination towards developing young talent, Gaya has the potential to be a significant upgrade on his compatriot Monreal with a lot of time on his side.
Arsenal has already benefitted from Valencia’s recent meltdown as 24-year old German centre-back Shkodran Mustafi was sold off amidst 100 million euros worth of talent leaving the Los Che last summer.
Mustafi has gone on to form the strong ‘Kostafi’ partnership with French defender and current club captain Laurent Koscielny at the back. Hence even Mustafi can be used to sweet talk Gaya into joining Arsenal FC.
The club is yet to offer backup left-back Kieran Gibbs who has been playing 2nd fiddle to Monreal for the past few seasons a new deal, even though he has only 18 months left on his current contract. The 27-year old English defender recently completed 10 seasons as a Gunner but he looks set to leave the club soon due to lack of regular first team football. Hence the Gaya deal might be beneficiary for all parties involved.
Wenger reportedly believes that the team is well equipped in every other area with strong cover and depth in central defense, midfield and up front where Danny Welbeck has officially returned to training from a horrendous May knee injury.
There are already huge concerns as to whether two world class 28-year olds in German midfielder Mesut Ozil and Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez will extend their stay at the Emirates stadium.
The one other area that might need attention is the goalkeeper with Petr Cech becoming 35 next May and David Ospina may not be willing to spend another season as the Czech International’s back-up.
Hence let us wait and watch if Arsenal completes a deal for Gaya once the winter transfer window opens in a week’s time in January. Until then Merry Christmas folks!!
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