Why Arsenal should reignite their interest in Nadiem Amiri
North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were also named among his potential suitors (Sport Bild h/t Sun) but a move to the Premier League never really materialized and Amiri completed a switch to Bayern Leverkusen on a five-year contract in July 2019.
Arsenal eventually went on to bring in Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid in the summer in a bid to replacement the long-serving Aaron Ramsey, who completed a free transfer to Serie A giants Juventus prior to the start of the ongoing campaign.
Amiri, meanwhile, has made a bright start to life at Bayern Leverkusen, having started only ten league fixtures in the Bundesliga over the course of an injury-stricken campaign at Hoffenheim last term. The 23-year-old has featured in all but one of Leverkusen’s first thirteen league games so far, starting on nine occasions.
Born in Germany to parents of Afghan origin, Amiri shot to prominence with Hoffenheim and went on to accumulate 13 goals and 13 assists in 115 appearances across all competitions over the course of four seasons.
Despite not being a regular starter at Hoffenheim, the youngster still carved out a reputation as one of the brightest emerging prospects in Germany.
The highly-rated midfielder, who made his international debut for Germany during the international break back in October, is yet to register his first goal in the Bundesliga this season but his stocks are soaring once again following a string of fine displays at his new club.
The 3-cap German international recently guided his team to a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich this weekend, with Leon Bailey bagging a brace to sink the reigning Bundesliga champions.
Arsenal, on the other hand, currently find themselves in a big mess in the Premier League following a disastrous start to the campaign that has left the Gunners reeling at 8th place in the standings with only 4 wins from 14 games so far.
A string of unimpressive displays prompted the club hierarchy to finally pull the trigger on Unai Emery, with Freddie Ljungberg taking charge of the Gunners as the interim manager.
However, another lacklustre 2-2 draw against strugglers Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday was a stark reminder that their problems are far from over in the post-Emery era.
A lack of creativity in the midfield has become a norm rather than an anomaly for Arsenal this season, with Mesut Ozil struggling to make his presence felt and the likes of Ceballos and Joe Willock just not doing enough to help the team in terms of goal contributions.
Ozil once again failed to justify his selection against Norwich City and probably the majority of the fans would want to see the club bring in some creative reinforcements when the transfer window reopens in January.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal reigniting interest in Nadiem Amiri could go a long way towards sorting out problems relating to a lack of creativity in the middle of the park.
The German international has lived up to his reputation as a fine young creative player in the Bundesliga at his new club and it certainly won’t be a bad idea for the Gunners to go back in the market for his services, given the fact that the existing midfield cavalry just hasn’t done enough this season.
As per whoscored, Amiri averages an impressive 2.5 key passes per game, which puts him head and shoulders above the likes of Matteo Guendouzi (0.9), Granit Xhaka (0.7), Torreira (0.4) and Ceballos (1) in terms of creativity.
Taking those numbers into consideration, as well as the fact that Amiri still has his best years ahead of him at 23, Arsenal should once again start looking at him as a potential transfer target heading into the mid-season trading period.
It is a no-brainer that the Gunners are in dire need of freshening up their options in the middle of the park and Amiri, who has the versatility to play as both a No.10 and a No.8, looks like a fine young player with plenty of potential who could well prove to be the inspiration that they need to avoid the ignominy of a horror campaign in the Premier League.
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With that in mind, Nadiem Amiri to Arsenal in January seems to have all the makings of an excellent move.