David Villa has attracted the attention of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after the Spaniard has failed to make his way back into the Barcelona starting 11. The prospect of having such a talented and experienced striker like Villa at the helm of your attacking force is a dream for many teams.
But is it one of Arsenal’s?
When I talk about the pressure surrounding Arsene Wenger, I do not refer to it as a matter of questioning his managerial abilities or whether he should be discharged as Arsenal boss. I’m talking about the pressure he has to deal with when he delves into the transfer market.
It is clear that Arsenal fans are falling out of love with Wenger’s tendency to buy unknown talent from all around the world; these fans want proven names.
They want someone who can impact the Premier League and drive the North London outfit out of their eight-year trophy-less slump. They want more players like Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.
Even Arsene Wenger knows this is the case, as he spoke about the pressure in the transfer market with the mirror.co.uk: “It’s very difficult. Because the level of expectation is very high,” said Wenger. “Because people want to come here and they want to see Lionel Messi.” (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-fans-only-want-signings-1516401)
For the past few seasons, Arsenal has been a selling club by accepting some lucrative bids from some of Europe’s best sides. Robin Van Perise and Cesc Fabregas are just two names from a long list of talented individuals.
So does this now mean that Arsenal, a side that was once feared and labeled as the "invincibles," are now not a top team in Europe?
Although, their impressive record of qualifying for the European Champions League for 11 seasons straight is something to be in awe of.
Arsenal’s current state sees them sixth in the Premier League with four wins from their last eight league games.
In my opinion, and I’m sure many others feel the same, Arsenal will need to improve if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
They have not got the team that can challenge both of the Manchester Clubs, Chelsea and, to an extent, their bitter rivals Tottenham. However, would the potential signing of David Villa spring life into Arsenal’s hopes of keeping their impressive Champions League record alive?
Villa was shunned to the bench for most of Pep Guardiolo’s reign at the Nou Camp and it has seemed that Tito Vilanova has followed suit. It is Vilanova’s reluctance to drop Lionel Messi from his central role that has left David Villa seething on the sidelines.
Barcelona have already stated that they will not loan out their Spanish striker and will only consider a formal transfer bid.
It is speculated that if Villa was to sign in January it would cost Arsenal £16 million, as opposed to a rumored £12 million if they hold out for his signature until the summer.
We have to remember that this is a formidable player who, on his day, can be one of the world's most lethal strikers. It was predicted that he would reach the pinnacle of his career at the Catalan club after his €40 million transfer from Valencia.
He found the net 23 times in 53 games in his first season. After just nine goals in 24 games in his second season, Villa was the recipient of a horrific broken leg that forced him out for eight months. He returned this season and managed to score on his first competitive game back, after coming on as a substitute.
We all know what David Villa is capable of, remembering that he is also Spain’s all-time top goal scorer.
But is he still that same attacker that once struck fear into all opposing defenders? We also have to wonder if Villa will ever fully recover from his long set back and return to his best form, which won him the Spanish Player of the Year award back in 2006.
If Arsene Wenger is to give in to, let's face it, fan peer pressure and buy a proven renowned name, then is Villa the right person?
Wenger did fantastically in last summer’s transfer window after securing the signatures of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, all of whom are known names in Europe and have put in many outstanding performances for the Gunners this season.
But it is deals such as paying £10.5 million for Gervinho and £12 million for an unproven Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that frustrate the Arsenal faithful.
If Wenger was to pay £16 million for David Villa this January, then would that mean that the Spaniard will be entitled to a place in the Arsenal starting 11? Otherwise, why would Villa move to another club to be stuck on the bench and be treated in the same fashion that he currently finds himself at Barcelona?
Where would this leave Theo Walcott?
Walcott has insisted on being Arsenal’s star striker, demanding that his boss plays him as a lone forward. Otherwise he will continue to refuse a contract renewal. If Villa did arrive at The Emirates, would it mean Walcott dropping to his less-favored winger position, and would that eventually push him out of the club?
Whether Wenger gives in to this pressure of signing a big name or not, I believe Villa is not the answer.
Don’t get me wrong Villa has, or maybe had, bags full of talent. But £16 million for a 31-year-old that has not proven whether he is back to his best after his injury is a risk.
Or are we looking at this all wrong? Is Villa the only biggest name in World Football that Arsenal Football Club can attract?
Arsenal have also been linked with Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez, but his £14 million buy-out clause seems to have put off any interest from The Gunners.