Arsenal have joined Liverpool in the queue of clubs interested in signing unsettled Bayern Munich forward Mario Gotze, according to German new outlet TZ.
The Gunners are reportedly keen to match any offer the Anfield side table, with a fee of £31m previously mooted.
Yet, bringing in the 22-year-old former Borussia Dortmund ace would be a continuation of recent trend among the north London club’s biggest transfers that has so far proven flawed.
The big-budget, blockbuster arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez each served as convincing statements that they were back in the big time and capable of bringing in elite talent once more.
But, despite the upward mobility those deals implied, their acquisitions actually reinforced Arsenal’s rank among the second tier of the European football status quo.
Ultimately, the Gunners paid through the nose for players who were no longer deemed essential by their coaches at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively and, in the case of Sanchez, may never have been in the first place.
Evidently Ozil and Sanchez, while superb players, were lacking some of the qualities necessary to make themselves long-term fixtures at crème de la crème establishments in the way Ivan Rakitic or Luka Modric, let alone Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Mascherano or Sergio Ramos have done.
Gotze, has already won four Bundesligas, a host of other domestic pots and a World Cup, yet his peripheral existence since swapping Dortmund for Bayern means it’s hard to shake the conviction that he too may lack the ability to impose himself among the very best.
In his first campaign at the Allianz Arena he made 32 league appearances, starting 28 of them, but being substituted no fewer than 14 times.
This term he has made just seven starts across all competitions. Injury did intervene, but the German has left the bench only once in eight fixtures since returning from his time out.
Would Arsenal not be better suited paying big money for a player that hasn’t already proven the ceiling of their powers is somewhere near, yet ultimately below, elite club first-team level?
Rakitic and Mascherano (and Ozil and Sanchez for that matter) were each plying their trades at clubs subordinate to the Gunners in football’s hierarchy at points prior to their Clasico-team moves.
It was and is at those junctures that Arsenal should be bold enough to stump up the big bucks, the reward, that they may find a world beater on an upward trajectory, capable of the kind of consistency demanded by Barcelona, Real, or Bayern, rather than a player who has already proved himself unable to do so.