Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Nigel De Jong Is the Perfect Target for the Gunners

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25:  Nigel de Jong of Manchester City scores the opening goal during the Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on January 25, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Dutch holding midfielder Nigel De Jong would be the perfect acquisition for the Gunners this summer.

The Daily Mail has today suggested that Arsenal are interested in signing the Manchester City squad player.

This would be a great deal for Arsene Wenger's team and would better equip them to compete for trophies. De Jong is the kind of defensive shield Arsenal's midfield lacks.

He has the positional discipline to stay in front of the back four and not abandon his defensive duties with regular forays into the attacking third. De Jong is also a powerful and aggressive tackler.

His ball-winning skills exceed any other member of the Arsenal midfield and he can be relied upon to break up attacks and keep his team in possession. These are attributes that Alex Song, Arsenal's current designated defensive midfielder, lacks.

Song is an inconsistent tackler and is too often caught out of position. This has left Arsenal vulnerable to quick counter attacks at crucial times this season.

In their current 4-3-3 hybrid formation, the Gunners need a midfield anchor who will remain just behind the halfway line in front of the defense. De Jong is exactly that kind of player, and the presence of the Dutch international staying deep, would immediately improve Arsenal's defensive record.

It would also allow the other members of the Gunners' midfield to venture forward, safe in the knowledge that there is sufficient cover behind them. With De Jong positioned in front of the defense and Mikel Arteta patrolling the halfway line, Song would have full license to operate more in the attacking third.

Often overshadowed by his robust style and physicality, De Jong is a capable technical player. He is an assured and efficient passer who would not be out of place in the kind of intricate football favoured by Arsene Wenger.

De Jong's Premier League experience is a quality the Gunners would be wise to pursue in this transfer window. Although the Mail offers no definite link between Arsenal and De Jong, the Daily Mirror recently indicated that the former Hamburg man could on his way out of Manchester, having made only 11 starts for the Citizens in 2011/12.

Arsenal should certainly pounce for the international teammate of Robin van Persie and finally give their midfield trio the defensive presence it needs.