Arsenal Transfers: Why Remy Cabella Is the Next Big-Money Buy on Arsenal's Radar

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20:  Remy Cabella of Montpellier in action during a Montpellier Herault SC training session ahead of tomorrow's UEFA Champions League Group B match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on November 20, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Remy Cabella is the next young star Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will pay big money for. The Montpellier attacking midfielder would be the kind of shrewd addition Wenger favors.

The Gunners have been linked with several high-priced targets in recent weeks. Links to Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic persist.

The latest rumors suggest Fiorentina want £30 million for the cerebral front man, according to talkSPORT.co.uk. The Daily Mirror, fancifully suggested Wenger will swoop for Bundesliga trio Robert Lewandowski, Mario Goetze and Lars Bender.

Next to these names, Cabella probably doesn't seem that enticing. However, despite suggestions of a £70 million war chest, it's difficult to envisage Wenger parting with £30 million or more for a single player.

Instead, he is far more likely to use the equivalent value on two or more players to fine-tune his squad. Cabella makes a lot of sense as one of those players.

Wenger values fluidity and versatility, and Cabella perfectly exemplifies both traits. He would give Wenger plenty of options regarding the structure of his midfield and forward lines.

As an attacking midfielder capable of playing on either flank, Cabella would fit nicely on the left of Arsenal's front three. Wenger has tinkered with this position all season.

Lukas Podolski has been hampered by niggling injuries and sporadic form. The Germany international currently seems out of favor, and a possible departure has already been mooted.

The Sun suggested Podolski could be a summer target for Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Podolski quickly scoffed at the idea, according to Sky Sports.

However, it's telling that an exit is even being suggested, considering he only joined the Gunners ranks last summer.

It's also significant that Wenger has increasingly opted to deploy Santi Cazorla in Podolski's place. The Spaniard has had some success in the role, and the move reveals what Wenger wants from the flank.

He is searching for a Robert Pires-type, rather than a true striker or wide forward—a player who can ghost into the middle and make late runs to link the midfield and forward lines together.

Playing Cazorla wide has allowed Arsenal to pack four in midfield more often. It also lets Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott operate more as a natural front two.

The problem is when Cazorla is out wide, Arsenal lose his creativity in the middle. Jack Wilshere has been given the advanced role, with mixed results.

The 2-1 away defeat to Tottenham Hotspur showed Wilshere is not prolific enough as a provider or goalscorer to occupy this vital role.

Signing Cabella and putting him on the left, would let Cazorla revert to central schemer. It would also allow Jack Wilshere to drop deeper and dictate from the halfway line.

They would seem to be more natural positions for Cazorla and Wilshere. Cabella would give Wenger his new Pires.

The old one would certainly agree. Back in October, he recommended Cabella to Arsenal, during an interview with Ligue1.com.

That was after the Gunners had seen Cabella firsthand in the UEFA Champions League. What they saw was a forward-thinking player who exudes technical excellence. 

Immaculate control may be Cabella's best attribute. His first touch is excellent, and he displays a great instinct for clever, defence-splitting passes. That kind of inventive delivery is the foundation of Wenger's style of play.

It's something Giroud knows well. His power combined with Cabella's ingenuity, played a key role in Montpellier winning Lique 1 in 2011/12.

Cabella plays with a flair that belongs in Arsenal's brand of attractive and expansive attacking football. It would help Cabella quickly establish a rapport with fellow skill players like Cazorla and Wilshere.

Wenger's best Arsenal team contained a key quartet of creative maestros. Pires combined with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp, to produce exquisite passing football.

Wenger current squad doesn't boast those riches, but there is potential. Cazorla and Wilshere are a crafty and technically gifted duo.

Tomas Rosicky is also the right kind of quick-thinking playmaker. However, the Czech veteran is now 32 and still struggles with fitness issues.

Cabella is a youthful star who would provide quality and a scoring threat from the flank or through the middle. The 23-year-old has netted six league goals and produced five assists, according to Ligue1.com. 

Wenger's best teams thrived, thanks to goals from midfield. Indeed, part of Cazorla's good form on the left has been his scoring touch.

He bagged the winning goals at Sunderland and against Aston Villa, as well as a key strike against Reading, all from the left

Cabella is a typically classy finisher, adept from any angle. He is particularly fond of chipping a goalkeeper.

Cabella is the right fit for Arsenal. He would add greater flexibility and balance to Arsenal's attack. There are rumors of interest, although negotiations could be tough.

Montpellier's president Louis Nicollin appears to value Cabella. When The Sun linked Arsenal with a move in December, 2012, they suggested Cabella's price was £5 million.

However, The Sun report also quoted Nicollin saying “It will take a fortune for us to consider letting him leave.”

That implies, the right offer would likely tempt him into selling. In reality, spending £15-20 million is a big-money buy for Wenger.

If he does buy big, then Cabella is most worth the investment.


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