Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Arsene Wenger Could Take a Chance on Alan Dzagoev
The CSKA Moscow attacking midfielder is considered one of the brightest developing talents in the game and is in the final year of his contract.
Dzagoev would definitely address an important need for the Gunners: Arsene Wenger's team could use an infusion of flair and creativity in the attacking area of midfield.
The 22-year-old certainly fits the bill, possessing the pace, technique and craft both to score and to set up goals.
Dzagoev is currently starring at Euro 2012, having already helped his country to an impressive 4-1 win over the Czech Republic. Dzagoev scored two goals with well-taken and composed finishes.
The diminutive, fleet-footed attacker could give Arsenal the replacement for Cesc Fabregas their current system desperately needs.
However, as talented as Dzagoev is, his acquisition would still be a risky one.
Russian players have traditionally not traveled all that well, and their recent forays into the EPL have been particularly disappointing. The talented quartet of Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Pavlyuchencko, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Andrei Arshavin all flopped, despite each possessing a wealth of natural ability.
Arshavin in particular is a prime example of the risks involved. Arsenal made him their record signing in the winter of 2009 when they paid around £15 million for the dynamic playmaker.
However, after a fast start to life in England, Arshavin soon lost interest and became a mere passenger in too many games. Things came to a head this past season when Wenger loaned Arshavin back to former club Zenit.
Aside from any concerns about how well Dzagoev would settle, there's also the matter of how signing a 22-year-old starlet would affect players like Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin. The youthful trio are all capable of establishing themselves as regular first-teamers, and Dzagoev's presence would surely set at least one of them back.
Of course, the question remains if any of these three youngsters is ready to perform well enough to propel Arsenal to major trophies this season.
After the addition of Lukas Podolski, Arsenal need to make a decision in midfield.
Either a creative influence or a defensive presence is needed to boost the performances of the current group.
Any transfer rumours in the coming weeks could give some indication as to which way Wenger will go.
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