Arsenal Transfer News: What Makes Gunners Target David Villa so Special

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 10:  David Villa of FC Barcelona celebrates with his team-mates after scoring their second goal during the Copa del Rey round of sixteen second leg match between FC Barcelona and Cordoba CF at Camp Nou on January 10, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

For most of January, Barcelona man David Villa and Arsenal have been paired together in countless transfer rumors. Villa doesn't see as much playing time at Barca as he's become accustomed to, while Arsenal have lacked a scoring touch at times this season.

It seemed a natural fit, though the rumors have died down later in the month. Still, a few linger here and there, such as this one from Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:

Arsenal bosses have held summit talks at the club's Hertfordshire HQ in a bid salvage the club's fruitless January transfer window.

And the Gunners are throwing all their negotiating resources at trying to land David Villa before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Sportsmail understands that chief executive Ivan Gazidis arrived at the club's London Colney training complex on Monday for crunch discussions with manager Arsene Wenger to map out the closing stages of the transfer window.

But what makes the Barca man so special? Why are Arsenal, along with Manchester City (per the Mirror John Cross and David McDonnell), so keen to acquire Villa's services?

Really, I can answer those questions with two words: clinical finisher. When it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, Villa is a world-class talent.

Villa can finish with either foot. He can beat a keeper with range or chip one with finesse over the keeper's shoulder in the box. He can play tika-taka and give-and-go himself into shooting position or make cutting runs from the outside and place himself into the right places to find an open look at goal.

You want power? Villa can let them rip. You want precision? He can paint either corner with a curling beauty. You want a free-kick threat? Yeah, he can handle those, too.

He has good touch, and while no one will ever mistake him for Andres Iniesta, he's a willing and capable facilitator as well. In Arsenal's open, pass-first attack, he truly would fit right in.

He's also versatile, capable of playing centrally as a striker or false nine, or out wide as a winger. It's one reason he would make a lot of sense for the Gunners, a team that has a lot of versatile forwards and can overlap from wide positions to more central, attacking spots.

Before injuring his leg last season, Villa's lowest goal tally in La Liga play since the 2003-04 season was 15 in 2004-05 for Real Zaragoza. Since joining Barca in 2010-11, he has 44 goals in all competitions. 

And honestly, if the team's attack didn't revolve around the game's greatest genius, Lionel Messi, that tally would almost assuredly be higher. 

I don't think Villa will be going anywhere at the window—Barca have a lot of aspirations this year, including winning La Liga and the Champions League—but he certainly would look good in Arsenal red. For the Gunners, he would be another prized piece of artillery, that's for sure.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter