Luiz Gustavo is the latest central midfielder to be linked with Arsenal and while the Brazilian struggled for regular game time at Bayern Munich last year, he could be the man to add power to the Gunners diminutive midfield.
The Emirates club have been linked with a number of defensive midfielders this summer, including Tottenham Hotspur-bound French international Etiene Capoue and Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender, who was understood to be the subject of a failed £19m bid.
Arsenal – who are 4/7 to finish in the top four this season – failed to replace Alex Song last summer after his move to Barcelona and with injury addled Abou Diaby set for another long spell on the sidelines, Arsene Wenger has turned his attention to versatile defensive midfielder Gustavo.
The 26-year-old played a significant part in Bayern’s treble-winning season, starting 16 times in the Bundesliga and scoring four goals, but with Mario Goetze and Thiago Alcantara added to Pep Guardiola’s squad, competition for places could see the former Hoffenheim star moved on by the end of the summer.
Gustavo – who began his career as a left-back – can also fill in at centre-half, another position Wenger has looked to strengthen this summer and distributes well from a deep-lying position, with a 93% rate for completed passes in the Bundesliga last year.
At six-foot-two-inches he would add ball-winning height to Arsenal’s midfield – with five-foot-nine-inch Mikel Arteta currently the tallest of Arsenal’s regular starters in the centre of the park – as well as strength in the tackle and a powerful long-shot option.
Chelsea – 11/5 to win the league this season – have also been linked with the 10-times capped Brazilian, but with fellow countrymen Ramires and David Luiz making his path into Jose Mourinho’s first team less clear, Gustavo may feel the Emirates is a more attractive destination, were he to leave Bayern Munich.