Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Should Focus Efforts on Luiz Gustavo

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Luiz Gustavo of Bayern Muenchen celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In order to get the summer on track, Arsenal should begin to concentrate the majority of their transfer efforts on Luiz Gustavo.

The Daily Mirror's Matt Law reported the Gunners are looking at the 26-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder:

Arsene Wenger has added Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo to his summer hit list.

Arsenal boss Wenger was first alerted to the Brazilian in January and is now plotting a bid.

German sources claim that Bayern are willing to listen to offers for Gustavo after completing the signing of Thiago Alcantara.

Wenger’s priority remains a striker, but the Frenchman is keen to bolster his midfield and Gustavo fits the profile of player he is looking for.

However, he faces competition for the player from German club Wolfsburg, who have admitted their interest.

Even before Thiago's arrival at the Allianz Arena, Gustavo was facing an uphill battle for playing time at Bayern Munich.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez have become the first-choice pair in the centre of midfield. Martinez has come in and done the job that would be left to Gustavo, only much better. It allows Schweinsteiger to be more of the box-to-box midfielder capable of making forward runs.

Even if Pep Guardiola uses Martinez more as a centre-back next season, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos and Thiago will still be available options to use in the centre of midfield, and they're all more skilled options than Gustavo.

Suffice it to say that Gustavo is likely available this summer, and what is Bayern Munich's trash could be Arsenal's treasure. The time is right for the Gunners to make a move. They could acquire a player just approaching his prime for a very reasonable fee.

The club has needed a holding midfielder arguably since the departure of Patrick Vieira.

Alex Song never established himself as a reliable defensive midfielder. He was caught going forward way too often, which left the back four exposed in a big way.

Mikel Arteta has been a very good central midfielder and exceeded expectations since he arrived from Everton. At 31 years old, though, Arteta will start to decline. Sooner or later, the club is going to have to start looking for his replacement, and in the present, at least find some cover.

The only other alternatives Arsene Wenger has are Abou Diaby, who can't stay healthy, and the combination of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, both of whom are more suited to more creative roles.

Gustavo is good enough to crack the starting XI for a lot of top European clubs. He's just been overshadowed by one of the deepest midfield talent pools in the world.

In an age where most midfielders are deployed in a variety of ways, Gustavo is still a bit old-fashioned in that he's strictly a ball-winner and destroyer in midfield. He provides great cover for his back four and has enough range to break up attacks anywhere in midfield.

For too many summers now, Wenger has failed to address the midfield. He continues buying young, creative playmakers without giving much thought to the defensive side of things. It continues to hinder the club's success on the pitch, and it's no surprise that the club has arguably moved further away from Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Signing Gustavo wouldn't automatically make Arsenal a title contender. He's not a world-class midfielder, and the club could still use another forward to help out Olivier Giroud.

Instead, it would represent progress and an awareness from Wenger as to what the problems are with the club. The supporters want to see some action during the summer from Arsenal. They've sat back for too long, watching the club do little to improve.

One of the first steps could be getting Gustavo.