After a poor start to their 2012-13 campaign, Arsenal will certainly be looking for new talent in the transfer market this January, and Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo is a player who would help improve the Gunners.
The Daily Mail’s Adam Shergold reported that manager Arsene Wenger is interested in the Brazilian and that “The Frenchman believes he can secure Gustavo for a fee of around £10m.”
This price would certainly be a bargain, as Gustavo is an excellent ball-winner whose defensive contribution in the middle of the pitch would greatly improve Arsenal’s midfield.
The 25-year-old was a regular in the Bayern starting 11 last season, both in the German league and during the club’s run to the Champions League final. However, Javi Martinez’s arrival has cut into his playing time.
The highly touted Spaniard was a record signing at €40 million, and the German leaders certainly did not spend that much just to keep him on the bench. Meanwhile, there is little chance for Gustavo to gain a foothold playing next to Martinez, as that would push Bastian Schweinsteiger—one of the best holding midfielders in the world—to the bench.
Gustavo is a quality player who is certainly capable of being a first-choice player at a top club, but he faces an uncommon amount of competition at his position with Bayern. Moving to Arsenal would greatly benefit him.
The Gunners have not had a significant defensive presence in the midfield since the often-injured Abou Diaby went down in October. The team desperately needs another midfielder with the touch to execute Wenger’s possession-based tactics while also winning balls.
Gustavo fits this description. With three goals and an assist in just nine appearances in Bundesliga matches this season, he has proven to be useful in the attack.
According to WhoScored.com, Gustavo has contributed 2.2 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per match this year. These are not outstanding statistics, but do show adequate production.
He is a rangy player who is completely comfortable making his primary impact defensively, and the creative Arsenal midfielders like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla would greatly benefit from having him in the middle of the field.
Gustavo is exactly the type of player the Gunners should target in January in order to bolster their midfield. Wenger is lucky enough that he is in an unfavorable position at Bayern and could be bought at a bargain price.
The Gunners must not pass up an opportunity to sign the Brazilian in the next transfer window.