Arsene Wenger has seen enough. The normally passive and fiercely loyal Frenchman has finally admitted to himself that Xhaka, Coquelin and Elneny are not the answer to his defensive midfielder conundrum.
Behind closed doors, it’s said that his patience has been tested to its limits and that if he is to genuinely challenge for the title in his final year, he realises that he needs a new recruit urgently.
Enter, Steven N’Zonzi, a defensive midfielder currently with Savilla, who is apparently in London to talk about his future, as per reports in the Sun. With Arsenal? well, it’s an option, one of many that the 28-year-old may use following a spat with Manager Eduardo Berizzo.
From an Arsenal point of view, N’Zonzi is already versed in the premier league having had a tough but crucial spell with Stoke City from 2012-2015. It was a period where he stood out for his fighting contributions and established him as a quality defensive midfielder.
The price would be between £35 and £37.5 million but it would be money well spent if Wenger could add steel to his core and spine.
It’s an area where Arsenal have failed for years but the loss to Manchester United and Xhaka’s performance in particular, has prompted Arsenal’s angry boss to admit defeat and search for a reliable and consistent replacement.
I understand that Arsenal will send a representative to sound out N’Zonzi but nothing more than a polite and cordial meeting at this stage. However, Wenger may need to be more assertive and act before another signature passes him by.
He is guilty of letting N’Golo Kante go to Chelsea because of a few pence and he can ill afford another lapse of judgement as his final season approaches. N’Zonzi is known to admire Wenger greatly and the chance to work with him or Jurgen Klopp would prove too much to resist.
Xhaka was an experiment that didn’t quite work out. Elneny is nothing more than a squad player and Coquelin failed to live up to early promise. As I stated in an earlier blog, if you combined all three, you might end up with a fairly decent player but individually they are well wide of the mark.
So it’s not a massive leap of faith to think that the player could be tempted back to a league that he admires and to play for a much, much bigger club.
As per Mirror, N’Zonzi was recently quoted as saying:
“I love the Premier League. I really like the Premier League, this is where I started at a good level. I had a great time there.”
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