Arsenal could be preparing a summer move for Celtic star Victor Wanyama. According to The Daily Telegraph, the Gunners scouted Wanyama during Celtic's UEFA Champions League defeat to Juventus. Wanyama would be the perfect signing for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. The powerful and combative Parkhead ace is exactly the kind of robust player Arsenal need at the base of their midfield.
A natural defensive midfielder, Wanyama holds his position in front of a back four. He excels at disrupting attacks with decisive and forceful tackling. That positional discipline and precise tackling, sets Wanyama apart from Arsenal's previous defensive midfielder, Alex Song.
The Cameroon star was frequently guilty of abandoning his position in favour of an ill-advised foray forward. This often left the Arsenal rearguard undermanned and exposed to counterattacks. Song also lacked a refined tackling technique and didn't always fully commit himself to a challenge.
In truth, Song's best attributes suited a more advanced role. This is something that became increasingly obvious by his attacking contributions last season. However, the Gunners need a more defensive-minded play to anchor their midfield trio.
Mikel Arteta has played the deep-lying role for much of this season and mostly excels. The veteran Spaniard is a crucial calming force in an often frenetic Arsenal team. He helps maintain possession and plays with natural intelligence and authority.
Yet where Arteta can struggle is in a physical battle. In Arsenal's 3-3 draw at home against Fulham in November, the former Everton man was exposed more than once. He lacks the strength and pace to handle powerful and pacey breaks. Adding Wanyama would not only offer better protection to a leaky defence.
It would also offer support and cover for Arteta. The 30-year-old is an elder statesman in Arsenal's otherwise youthful ranks. At 21, Wanyama is a star in the making and fits Wenger's fondness for building through youth. He would guarantee Arsenal solidity at a vital position for years to come.
As much as he deserves credit for his power, Wanyama's technique on the ball shouldn't be overlooked. He is a classy and instinctive passer, who moves the ball quickly, a crucial requirement for the expansive, fast-paced brand of football Wenger loves Arsenal to play.
As important as physicality can be to a defensive midfielder, quick and intelligent distribution is just as valuable. Deep-lying midfielders are often charged with beginning attacks via smart, early passes. Wanyama would have no trouble integrating into Arsenal's flowing and creative passing game.
Wenger could even partner the Hoops prodigy with Arteta, giving Arsenal a stout two-man base in between defence and midfield. This would give the Gunners the perfect platform to allow advanced schemers Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere to concentrate on attacking.
No fee has been mooted and Wanyama has also drawn interest from Manchester United. However, Arsenal have a greater need for the Kenya international. If Wenger opts for a defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window, Wanyama would be the smartest choice.863916