As the January transfer window hurtles ever-closer Arsenal are being linked with just about every central midfield player in Europe with a superior work rate to Dimitar Berbatov.
The frustration for many Gooners bemoaning their lack of a dominant Patrick Vieira figure in the centre of the park is that an uncomfortable amount of deep-lying playmakers continue to be mooted, with Monaco’s Joao Moutinho the latest rumour out of the mill.
All the while William Carvalho, precisely the kind of physical, defence-protecting presence most pundits and fans agree is required remains frustratingly out-of-reach.
Sporting Lisbon’s prized asset would likely cost the earth, admittedly.
However a player of strikingly similar gifts has been playing out of his skin for two seasons now under Arsene Wenger’s very nostrils.
His name will revealed to readers as late in the piece as possible to avoid scoffs of disbelief.
First some compelling statistics and anecdotal evidence…
Last season he averaged the second most tackles, the most interceptions and the sixth-most aerial duels won per game in a rearguard that conceded just eight goals less than the Gunners despite it’s far lowlier components.
This term he’s once again second in average dispossessions chart, also leading the way for mean cut-outs an outing for the second year running and only out-performed by seven rivals for aerial dominance.
Stats gurus whoscored.com give him their second-highest average rating of any player in the Premier League this season, beating Arsenal’s own Alexis Sanchez into third place.
Furthermore he is the undisputed captain and inspirational leader of not just his club side, but his nation, both of whom have benefited greatly from his unerring accuracy from the penalty spot.
He plays for Crystal Palace, his name is Mile Jedinak and despite him possessing every quality consensus suggests Arsenal require in a defensive midfielder (including costing a pittance) they’ll never sign him in a million years.