Why Arsenal must beat Barcelona to sign Steven Nzonzi
Unai Emery has been putting together an army for Arsenal’s upcoming Premier League campaign. The manager has come in and straight away snapped up the players he wanted. The Spanish coach is the kind of manager who knows what he wants and how to get it done.
Under his guidance, the Gunners could hit top form next season, after finishing in Europa League spots for consecutive years.
Emery will be given the immediate task of taking Arsenal back into the top-4. The manager is a specialist in the Europa League, which could see Arsenal clinch the title but he is not yet done with his business in the market.
The transfer window shuts on August 9 and the Gunners have been linked with Sevilla midfielder Steven Nzonzi. Unai Emery is reportedly a huge fan of the player he coached for a year before moving to Paris. On the other hand, Barcelona are also interested in the World Cup winner.
The Frenchman has a £36million release clause in his contract which Arsenal could pay to land his signature. The Gunners have already brought in a number of high-profile signings and could complete one more before they start the season.
Nzonzi made the move to Sevilla in 2015 from Stoke City after enjoying three impressive years in the Premier League. In his time with the Potters, the 29-year-old established himself as one of the most talented central midfielders in the league. He has now gone on to make a total of 90 appearances for the Spanish outfit, scoring 6 goals.
The Frenchman was an integral member of the squad that beat Manchester United in the Champions League last season. His presence on the field was vital for the club, with the Nzonzi’s performances being largely influential for them.
He made a total of 27 appearances in the La Liga last season, scoring 1 goal and providing 2 assists. And though his offensive statistics aren’t the most convincing, it’s his tireless work rate on the ball that does all the talking. The former Stoke City man is generally deployed as a central midfielder but he is also comfortable playing a deep-lying defensive midfielder.
Nzonzi is a class act on the ball. He is majestic in possession and rarely gives it away. The player is often praised for his ability to distribute the ball in the middle of the park. Nzonzi brings a sense of stability and cohesion to the Sevilla side.
The midfielder averaged a pass success rate of 88% in the Spanish league last season. He’s also very good at charging forward to support the attack. The player also offers defensive cover to the backline, proving his worth as an engine in the middle.
While Arsenal lost both Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla this summer, they should recruit Nzonzi to compensate. The Gunners have always had a special place for French players and should make the former Stoke City man their next signing. He could be vital to Arsenal’s bid for a top-4 finish this season.