As the summer window draws nearer, the rumours surrounding transfer activity at the Emirates continue to intensify. In recent weeks, we’ve heard speculation concerning Thomas Partey, Houssem Aouar and Dayot Upamecano all joining Arsenal. Today, we’ll be focusing on another new arrival while also assessing the potential departure of a current squad member.
Matteo Guendouzi hasn’t featured in an Arsenal matchday squad since the 2-1 defeat away at Brighton. It’s reported that the Frenchman has refused to show any remorse for his actions, leaving Arteta no choice but to banish him from group training sessions too.
Now the club has deemed him as surplus to requirements and offered his services around Europe. Every avenue is being explored for his departure and one of the options is for him to be included in a swap deal. At first, the club was considering this for Houssem Aouar now they’re contemplating this for Philippe Coutinho instead.
The Brazilian playmaker has found himself out of favour at the Catalonian club, after failing to impress on his recent loan spell at Bayern Munich. In 34 appearances this season, the 28-year-old has directly contributed to 17 goals.
His form at the start of the season stood out in a dysfunctional Niko Kovac team but he’s failed to impress interim manager Hans Flick in the second half of the campaign. Now the playmaker is looking to return to the Premier League after Barcelona made it known that he wouldn’t be featured in next season’s squad.
Philippe Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian notoriously has close links with Arsenal’s Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi. The Spaniard is known to prefer to do deals with agents and intermediaries and has worked closely with Coutinho’s agents for several years. That’s why this rumour holds weight as the super-agent is doing all he can to bring the former Liverpool talisman back to England.
How would Coutinho fit in at Arsenal?
Whilst he may not have had a great second half of the season, Arsenal fans shouldn’t forget the talent of the Brazilian. On his day, he’s one of the effective playmakers on the planet. Despite his sporadic appearances for the first team, Coutinho has still created 42 chances, averaging 1.4 key passes a game. In comparison, this would make him the 2nd most creative player at Arsenal, behind only Mesut Ozil (2.1).
As part of this summer’s rebuild, Mikel Arteta has requested a left-sided centre-back, a defensive midfielder and an attacking midfielder. Coutinho ticks one of those boxes and with a non-existent transfer fee to be paid, the deal works for the directors too.
Arteta has stated severally that Arsenal’s current 3-4-3 system is just a temporary fix and he’ll look to switch to a 4-3-3 in the near future. To play three in midfield, a creative playmaker is needed to link the midfield and the front three.
Barcelona signed Philippe Coutinho for £142m in 2018 and ever since then they’ve been looking to get rid of him. The 28-year-old has not justified his wage and the Catalonian club will have to accept a loss on him regardless of where he ends up. However, the Barca hierarchy may see a swap deal for Matteo Guendouzi as a profit rather than a loss.
Would you accept a 28-year-old Philippe Coutinho in a swap deal for 20-year-old Matteo Guendouzi?
Let us know your thoughts below.