Steven N’Zonzi is hoping to reunite with his former coach Unai Emery at Arsenal, according to latest reports in the Mirror.
The Gunners new boss wants to make the 29-year-old midfielder his first signing at the club and the Frenchman midfielder is as excited to play under Emery at the Emirates.
Emery had to convince the North London club’s hierarchy to push ahead for the defensive midfielder who reportedly has a €40m release clause in his contract.
N’Zonzi joined Championship side Blackburn for £550,000 from French side Amiens in 2009 and then moved to Stoke for £4.4million in 2012. Emery paid £8m to bring him to Sevilla in 2015.
The Gunners had talks with N’Zonzi in January but the head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat decided the talks should not be pursued further. However, Mislintat is now ready to sanction a deal after having elaborate discussions with Emery.
N’Zonzi has been a key player for Sevilla in the past few seasons, playing in the defensive midfielder role for the Spanish club while occasionally playing further up the pitch in central midfield.
The French International scored 2 goals and grabbed 2 assists this season, as well as this, the player held an impressive pass percentage of 89%, showing he might fit in well in the Arsenal squad.
The signing may polarise fans, with Granit Xhaka already holding the defensive midfielder position and playing the most minutes of any player for Arsenal this season. Signing N’Zonzi may show Emery is asserting that Xhaka is not talented enough to hold the position on his own.
Emery won’t be having the same freedom as Arsene Wenger with respect to the transfer business as Sven Mislintat is driving most transfer talks and new manager Emery is more concerned on improving the current squad.
This is what the new Arsenal boss said at his unveiling:
“I believe we can grow with the players we have, the objective is to work hard together and with these talented players.
“It’s very important for the club, after two years outside the Champions League, to work to be the best team in the Premier League and also in the world.”
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