Arsenal Transfer News: Ruben Garcia Would Be Smart Addition for Future

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2013

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 8:  Ruben Garcia of Levante UD in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between FC Twente and Levante UD held on November 8, 2012 at the FC Twente Stadion in Enschede, Netherlands. (Photo by Anoek de Groot/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Arsenal aren't exactly dying for quality wingers at the moment, with Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho all available out wide. 

But Podolski always seems to play far better when utilized centrally, while Gervinho has the rare capacity to dazzle and confound all on the same play. For that reason, keeping an eye to the future when it comes to the winger position wouldn't be the worst idea for Arsene Wenger.

Enter Levante's Ruben Garcia.

According to Ed Malyon of the Mirror:

Levante youngster Rubén Garcia has admitted he is open to an Arsenal move, after discovering that the North London club are following him.

"In Spain there are very great and historic teams, but yes, I would like to travel abroad and I would have to think about it because they are a big club."

The winger, 19, has impressed Arsenal chief scout Steve Rowley with his defensive work rate, and he will be on show with Spain at this summer's European under-21 championships in Israel.

Despite not yet reaching the age of 20, Garcia made 43 total appearances (29 starts) for Levante this season, scoring four goals and adding five assists. He started as a late-game substitute for the team to add a bit of pace to the attack but soon established himself as a valued member of the squad.

Garcia is at his best on the left side, where he functions as a natural winger, but can also cut inside and become a danger near the goal. He's solid defensively and is versatile enough to play on either wing, at forward or even in a central midfield role. 

He's a technically sound player and a tricky, nimble dribbler. His ability to beat a defender by dribbling past him, taking the ball wide to send in a cross or cutting inward to put himself in a shooting position makes him a difficult player to defend on that left wing. 

Now, it's hard to see him earning a starting gig at the Emirates right away. Theo Walcott is clearly established as the right winger and is one of the most dangerous players at the position in the Premier League, while Cazorla, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain will all probably be ahead of Garcia on the left side to open the season. 

But if Cazorla is returned to his central midfield role and Podolski and Gervinho end up moving on—though it seems unlikely the club would part ways with both players this summer—Garcia would have the opportunity to compete with Oxlade-Chamberlain for the left-winger spot. 

More than likely, however, he would fill the role for Arsenal that he did for Levante this season: as a late-game substitute brought on to provide a spark and some pace when needed.

He's an intriguing talent, that much is for sure, and one that would make a lot of sense for the Gunners to stash for the future.  


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