To buy or not to buy: Arsene has a defensive midfielder conundrum

Only six weeks from the start of the season and Arsenal’s squad for next season is starting to take shape. There are still a few holes here and there that we should expect will be filled up in the next two weeks: goal keeper (please please Frey!) and maybe another CB or DM. But Arsene has a potential twist in finalizing the defensive midfielder position. 

Fab’s return is all but assured absent a £60m offer that can pull Arsene’s budget conscious eyes. But at this point, it’s getting a little too late to bring in another key playmaker. Although Gourcuff has been mooted as a possible addition, Arsene’s aversion to his price (about £22m) put that to rest. Especially since Arsene is looking to expand Arsenal’s Brazilian contingent. No shock on that, but more on that in another piece.

Nope, the two twists that remain are Arsene’s quest for a CB and DM. Assuming Arsene sticks to the 433, which is likely, Arsene will probably bring in at least one more player. But depending on who he brings in, there is a potential twist depending on whether he brings in an experienced DM.

1. Arsene brings in an established DM, for instance Melo from Juventus. Should Arsene bring in a “Melo,” don’t be surprised if he doesn’t buy a CB. Melo will cost either 15m euro or require some type of player exchange, for example the rumored exchange for Clichy. If Melo comes, Areene will want him to start, that’s the point of buying his experience. If so, watch for Song to become the starting CB alongside Vermaelen. In this case, Denilson will rotate with “Melo” as his understudy. Otherwise Song sits on the bench, a waste of talent and experience.

2. Arsene brings in a youngster to rotate with Song. This seems less likely since experience seems to be a key necessity. But the idea is not out of the question. For instance, bringing in Diakhate (who can play CB and DM) would give Arsene the rotational cover he needs both at DM and CB should we be injury hit at a cheaper price than Melo. If this happens, another CB will be bought or promoted from within just to be careful.

Much of this might not be an issue if Arsene changes to a strict 4231 next year -playing Song in the back with another DM. But this doesn’t seem likely given the current squad.

And yet, with all of this, one last question still remains…..what if Gallas stays? Should Gallas remain, then the need for a CB drops dramatically. An option that Arsene seems to be open to and is increasingly more likely as the summer wears on.

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