Arsenal FC: 3 Transfers That Can Bring Some Creativity to the Gunners Midfield
When thinking of the areas where Arsenal need to strengthen this summer, midfield doesn't immediately come to mind.
Arsene Wenger will need to add another center-back or two to compensate for the inevitable departures of Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci, and the strike force is definitely something that needs to be sorted out, with Olivier Giroud the only out-and-out striker currently at the club.
In fact, midfield is probably where Arsenal are strongest, with the club having a plethora of midfielders at its disposal, including the likes of Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and plenty more waiting in the wings.
Nonetheless, much of the team's attacking creativity this season has been placed at the feet of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, so it certainly wouldn't do the Gunners harm to bring in a player who can share the creative burden.
Here are five transfers that can bring some more creativity to Arsenal's midfield.
What Arsenal fan wouldn't take back Cesc Fabregas?
Not only was the Spanish midfielder the Gunners' talisman, scoring goals like this and this, but he was arguably one of the best players in the Premier League during his time at Arsenal. Fabregas earned himself a spot in the 2007-08 PFA Team of the Season with seven goals and a whopping 20 assists, and he earned the same honour in 2009-10 with 15 goals and 13 assists.
A protracted summer transfer saga saw him move to boyhood club Barcelona in the summer of 2011, where things haven't quite worked out as planned. Although Fabregas' goal-scoring form hasn't slowed down, he's found trouble breaking into a midfield that consists of Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets and has often had to play out of position as a forward.
While a deal is highly unlikely, stranger things have happened.
While the likes of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski get the headlines for Borussia Dortmund's run to the Champions League final, Ilkay Gundogan has been the side's unsung hero in midfield.
He ran the show in the first 20 minutes of the Champions League final on Saturday, giving Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez a run for their money, and even got himself on the scoresheet with a second-half penalty.
The German international is a fantastic dribbler of the ball, with 2.1 successful dribbles per game in the Bundesliga, but doesn't shy away from his defensive duties with 2.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per league game (via WhoScored.com).
While Gundogan is definitely more of a box-to-box midfielder rather than an advanced playmaker, there's no doubt that the 22-year-old would bring creativity to Arsenal's midfield.
The attacking midfielder has had a breakout season for Olympique Lyon, with a recent string of excellent performances even earning him a call-up to the French national team.
Arsene Wenger has revealed his interest in Grenier, saying that his intelligent play reminds him of a certain Samir Nasri—and it's no wonder, too. The 22-year-old has bagged some sensational goals this season, scoring seven in total as well as nine assists in all competitions.
While Grenier is far from the finished product—his passing success rate of 74.1 percent (via WhoScored.com) shows room for improvement—there's arguably no better manager in the world than Monsieur Wenger when it comes to developing youngsters.
French, young and playing in Ligue 1, Clement Grenier checks all the right boxes of a classic Arsene Wenger signing.