The Daily Telegraph links Arsenal with a shock deadline day move for Chelsea stalwart Michael Essien. Apparently, the Gunners are interested in securing a season-long loan deal for the Ghana star.
Last season the two London rivals came to a similar agreement over Israeli playmaker Yossi Benayoun. The move certainly benefited Arsenal, as Benayoun's experience, skill and knack for important goals, provided a crucial boost to a squad locked in transition.
Acquiring Essien may provide a more significant impact. It's no secret Arsenal could use additional talent in midfield and Essien fits that mould.
He may find it difficult to still play a key role for Chelsea this season. The Uefa Champions League holders are well-stocked in midfield, with the likes of Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Ramires, Oriol Romeu and new signing Oscar. So Essien could find himself regularly left out.
He has English Premier League and trophy-winning experience and can play in a deep-lying role, which may suit Arsenal's current needs. Since the departure of Alex Song, Arsenal have a vacancy for a rugged midfielder to operate in defensive areas.
Essien is strong, tenacious and savvy enough to be very effective in this vital position. He has lost some of his quickness and dynamism going forward, thanks to some prolonged injuries.
However, Essien's tactical acumen compensates for this and his arrival could be a crucial final day addition for Arsene Wenger's team.