Despite the revelatory nature of Francis Coquelin’s performances in the second half of the season, Arsenal are reportedly still in the hunt for a defensive midfielder this summer.
It’s a welcome change of direction for Arsene Wenger, who has too often focused entirely on signing dainty playmakers in the past, and one Gunners fans will undoubtedly welcome.
The latest enforcer to be linked with a move to north London is Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who made a fine impression in his first season in Spain, helping them win the Europa League and thus secure a Champions League spot for next year.
Coquelin was undeniably impressive in the latter half of the season, but it’s too soon to break out the bunting and announce the 24-year-old as the long-term solution to Arsenal’s midfield issues.
As the old saying almost goes, one decent half-season does not a summer make, and signing Krychowiak would ensure the Gunners finally have a defensive midfield fit for a side that wishes to challenge for the Premier League.
The Pole averaged a mammoth 3.3 tackles and 3 interceptions per game in La Liga this term, ranking fourth and 16th in the Spanish top-flight in the two categories.
Krychowiak also shone in Sevilla’s Europa League campaign, even showing he knows where the goal is by bagging the equaliser in the final against Dnipro.
The package is rounded out by Krychowiak’s awesome aerial presence, with the Poland international winning an impressive 97 aerial duels last season at a 71 per cent success rate.
In short, try and get past the midfielder, whether by land, air or sea, and you will fail. Krychowiak is a one-man wrecking ball, and exactly what Arsenal have needed in their side for the past decade.
Furthermore, the Pole, who Wenger has apparently been tracking since his days as a youngster with Bordeaux, has a £21m release clause, meaning any deal could be completed quickly and easily, especially in comparison to the Gunners’ extended pursuit of Morgan Schneiderlin.
Based on the past couple of months, Arsenal could get by with Coquelin as their main defensive midfielder next season. But how many times has Wenger justified not making a signing on the basis of a promising youngster, only for the decision to backfire within a few months?
Adding Krychowiak to the squad would give Arsenal the insurance they need in midfield, and provide their array of fabulous attackers with a rock-solid platform to perform on.
It is 11/5 that the Pole is an Arsenal player come the end of this summer’s transfer window, and 3/10 that the Gunners do not bring in the Sevilla man.