When Mikel Arteta said he was excited about Arsenal’s plans for the summer transfer window, we all thought he was bluffing. But Arsenal have shown the world that they mean business with the signings of Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes. However, the Gunners are not stopping there as they have Thomas Partey, Houssem Aouar, Dani Ceballos and Thiago Alcantara all in their sights.
The Spanish midfielder has fulfilled his true potential at Bayern Munich this season, orchestrating his team to the summit of the Champions League. At the heart of their midfield, the 29-year-old has proved that all the hype around him was justified, as he truly is one of the CMs in the world. After completing everything he wanted to do in Germany, Thiago is ready to leave Munich after rejecting the chance to sign a new contract. Liverpool and Arsenal are both interested in the midfielder, with a £27million price tag set.
Here’s why Arsenal should sign Thiago Alcantara.
Control from Deep
In recent seasons, Arsenal have seriously lacked the presence of a midfield controller. Since the departure of Santi Cazorla, no player in Arsenal’s midfield has been able to dictate play from deep, this has, in turn, forced Mesut Ozil to often drop deep and become less effective. That’s why it’s been strange to see fans criticise the German’s performances as he’s been trying to juggle the job of two players. The signing of Thiago Alcantara would relieve Ozil of that burden and finally allow Arsenal to dominate possession thus penning teams into their own half for the majority of games.
Across last season, the Gunners only averaged 52.9% possession in games, a figure that pales in comparison to Manchester City (62.9%) and Liverpool (59.6%). If Arsenal want to return to the top 4, they must control games on a more consistent basis and not only excel in 15-minute phases.
Mikel Arteta has made it abundantly clear that he wants a blend of experience and youth in his squad. He wants players that can mentor the younger ones in the squad whilst also leading them on the pitch during tough times. The acquisitions of David Luiz, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari and Willian are all part of Arteta’s vision to create a winning culture at the Emirates and Thiago’s arrival would only further that notion.
The 29-year-old has 11 league titles, 13 domestic cups and 2 Champions Leagues to his name, such experience would be invaluable at the Emirates, making him the most successful player in the history of the club. It’s reported that Mikel Arteta wants to win the UCL within three seasons, the purchase of Thiago would help set that plan in motion.
World Class Ability
Last season, the midfield controller averaged an incredible 90.5% pass accuracy in 24 Bundesliga games. In those games, the 29-year-old averaged 74.9 passes, 1.9 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 3 successful take-ons per 90 minutes. When on form and fit, no midfielder in the world can match his deep-lying playmaking qualities.
Currently, Thiago plays alongside the powerhouse Leon Goretzka, meaning that he needs someone who can cover a lot of ground next to him in a pivot and at Arsenal, that someone could be Thomas Partey. In Thiago Alcantara, Arsenal would have a player that would walk into the starting XI of any other team in the league.