The threat of Arsenal addressing their long-standing holding-midfielder issue was this morning dialled up a notch, with reports surfacing that the Gunners are keeping tabs on Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Currently plying his trade with La Liga outfit Sevilla, the Polish anchorman is having an exceptional campaign and has caught the eye of David Dickinson enthusiast Arsene Wenger.
The bargain-hunting Frenchman no doubt has designs on signing the Pole for but a few million, well aware of the Spanish club’s penchant for selling star players.
Should last season’s Europa League winners play hardball though, Arsenal can take him to the Emirates by matching his £24m buy out clause.
Such an eventuality will no doubt have Wenger dry-retching into the nearest receptacle, but based on current form and the north Londoners’ desperation for a high quality enforcing midfielder, such an outlay could prove invaluable in the future.
Few defensive screens are operating at the same level as Krychowiak right now; he averages 3.4 tackles and 3.3 interceptions every time he enters the La Liga fray.
The mean of 2.6 fouls he commits per outing suggests he isn’t afraid to impose himself on opponents either, a characteristic currently absent from the Arsenal midfield.
Arsenal’s holding-midfielder incumbent Mikel Arteta is significantly down in all three departments.
In the former Everton man’s five Premier League appearances thus far he’s made just 1.6 tackles on average.
Xabi Alonso pioneers the ideology that tackling isn’t a laudable quality, it’s a precaution taken when things go wrong and the most adept anchormen must be more proficient interceptors of opposition passes as opposed to wresting possession away from them.
Arteta’s tackling numbers suggest he subscribes to this theory, but he’s cut out an average of 0.6 passes per game this term, underlining his unsuitability for the role.
The Spanish skipper’s 94.2 per cent pass completion rate may well get him out of jail, but in addition to being a first-rate defensive player, Krychowiak knows how to locate a teammate too.
Portuguese counterpart Daniel Carrico is the only player in the Sevilla ranks to have a higher pass per game average than the 24-year-old, who finds the mark with 80.6 per cent of the 46.3 balls he typically plays.
Fending off the Pole’s suitors will be key to Los Rojiblancos’ hopes of landing a top-four finish in La Liga this term.
They’ve lost one domestic match all season and can be backed at 29/20 to secure Champions League football for 2015/16.