El Clasico Midfielders heading for the exit to Arsenal?
As we look into the shadows of another fascinating week of European football, we see that this season’s climax is fast approaching. Many big hitters have left the champions league, Man City, Juventus and of course Real Madrid, both to a youthful Ajax side. Barcelona continue to progress as long as their little alien of footballer, Messi, is on song.
With an end to the season comes a desire for fresh faces and rejuvenation at two of the biggest clubs of world football, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane is back in Madrid, who have promised him a war chest to fund a change in fortunes for an under-performing star-studded side.
It remains to be seen if Valverde will still be coaching Barcelona, due to the fans still not being 100% convinced by the pragmatic Spaniard, regardless of his achievements. There are also reports of a huge spending spree from the Catalan club this summer, regardless of the coach.
With all this spending means we will also see many players leaving the El Classico clubs, to free up funds and places in the squads. I have profiled two big name players from both clubs who look likely to leave, that could improve Arsenal should they join.
Isco – Real Madrid
In and out of the Real Madrid team, during his time in the capital, he has gone from superstar to bench warmer so often, whilst, being juggled around a 4 3 3 formation he’s clearly not set out for. In exile when Lopetegui was head coach and still struggling to get starts even under the returning Zidane who favoured him last season.
Real Madrid, looking for funds are considering selling Isco, who’s best position is in the number 10 role behind the strikers, although he can play a little further back or even on the wings depending on the job he is being asked to do.
An Elite attacker who would be majestic for Arsenal, either as an Ozil replacement or even in tandem with the enigmatic German.
Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona
Where did it all go wrong for the little magician who lit up Anfield not so long ago? Although having played 47 games and scoring 11 goals and making five assists in all competitions, the Catalan faithful are still not completely convinced by the Brazilian international.
Coutinho is one of two players in a strange position, with head coach Valverde wanting to keep, but the board want to sell to raise funds. Barcelona will have to take a hit if they are to sell little Phil though, as no one is going to pay the £120 million they paid last January.
A player that started off as a central midfield playmaker for Vasco da Gama and Inter, who was converted into a left midfield inside forward and then finally a number 10 by Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Considering the constant change in formation by Unai Emery at Arsenal, Coutinho’s adaptability could be just what the Gunner’s need, with him likely filling a wing or playmaker role for Arsenal.
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
If there is, one thing that seems almost certain in European football it is that Gareth Bale will not be at Real Madrid next season. The Madrista media and fans have never truly taken to the Welsh international; even at his unveiling the fans in the stadium, held signs saying do not sell Ozil, who was being sold to secure funds for Bale.
Although playing 39 times and scoring 14 and assisting 5, more seems to be expected of a man who apparently was the heir to a departing Ronaldo’s big shoes to fill.
Although his Madrid career has been blighted with injuries, the Welshman has missed around 70 games since joining for the 14/15 season; he remains a top draw talent.
Starting out as a left back at Southampton and then converted into a dynamic inside forward at some London team, he then finally completed his metamorphosis at Real Into a right winger. All this information shows a whole host of positions Bale could play at Arsenal should he join. In a career, that has seen many twists and turns it would be nice to see Gareth Bale at the club he grew up supporting.
Rakatic – Barcelona
The second player as before mentioned that Valverde wants to keep but the board want to sell, so they can replace him with a younger shinier model. Although rumours of a possible contract renewal have surfaced, they may be a little too late, as he has had his head turned by interest from many clubs in Europe.
One of Croatia’s favourite son’s, a player of exquisite technique, able to dictate the tempo of even the messiest of games, be in no doubt this 31 year old is a talent.
A former Schalke talent who played for Unai Emery at Sevilla, when he came to prominence as one of the top central midfielders in world football.
As possible Aaron Ramsey replacements go this would be quite the get, still able to score the odd goal although this all action Croatian is more likely to stay more central, running the game with Xhaka and Torreira helping him form a very solid creative trio.
With many transfer rumours flying around who knows what the Arsenal side will look like next season? However, be rest assured should any of the above join, then the Gunners will be all the better for it.
I got into football as a kid watching Italian football in the afternoons and ever since I’ve been hooked on tactics and the continental side of the game. I’ve written about Italian football in the past among other things but now it’s time to write about, the embodiment of how I see the beautiful game, Arsenal. Hopefully writing things and opinions about the game you haven’t seen before, I like a bit of a joke too.