Kaka: Why Joining Arsenal Would Be a Mistake for Both Player and Club
Arsene Wenger has a suggested a £70 million transfer kitty at his fingertips and, with the September 2 deadline now fast approaching, is thought to be considering Kaka as a possible recruit—alongside Schalke youngster Julian Draxler.
Kaka would not be expensive and, while his wage demands would be substantial, they would be well within the reach of a club like Arsenal.
With the World Cup fast approaching and the former World Player of the Year not currently in contention for a place in the Brazil squad at the tournament, there is no doubting that he would also welcome a move away from the Bernabeu.
Whether a move to the Emirates Stadium would suit either party, though, is highly debatable.
Firstly, to look at a potential move from the perspective of Arsenal, it is difficult to see the need for Kaka in a position where the club is currently well stocked.
Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky are all potential options for the No. 10 role in the side and, while Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem have been needed on the bench in recent games, it has largely been due to a lack of available holding midfielders.
Rather than sign another attack-minded midfielder, then, it would surely be better to provide the defensive protection that has so clearly been missing for some time now.
Even were Kaka to stay fit for the rest of the season and perform to somewhere near his best—both of which would seem doubtful at this point—it would not help arrest the side's current deficiencies. Indeed, the quality of Arsenal's attacking options often helps to mask the glaring weaknesses.
There is a further problem with the theory that Arsenal could help Kaka get back to somewhere near his best. In order to reach such levels, he would need to be playing regularly and, at present, it is difficult to imagine him displacing the club's existing options on a frequent basis.
A player of his ability could no doubt have a positive influence, but there is a lingering feeling that the money could be better used.
For Kaka himself, the move would be a big gamble. He would not be guaranteed regular playing time and, in the process, would need to adapt to a very different footballing culture.
Should Arsenal sign Kaka ahead of September 2?
There is a valid argument that it is a gamble worth taking, considering that his chances of succeeding at Real Madrid now look minimal. If his reason for moving is to earn a World Cup place, however, then joining Arsenal would appear to be a counterproductive measure.
The fall of Kaka since his 2009 transfer to Real Madrid has been sad to watch. He has shown glimpses of returning to his glorious, elegant best over the past four years, but has found each run of form halted by his chronic injury concerns.
It is a difficult balance to strike. Ideally, he must seek a club with a high enough profile to give him exposure to Brazil's management, but also a club where he is guaranteed first-team football.
It is difficult to say who that club may be, but it is not Arsenal. For the Gunners, meanwhile, it is safe to say that Kaka is not the answer to their biggest issues.
A transfer may at first seem like a marriage of convenience, but ultimately could end up leaving neither party satisfied.
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