According latest reports from Express, Arsenal are planning to buy 30 million rated Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho in January. The 28 years old central midfielder is currently unsettled in his club AS Monaco and is looking to depart in the coming January window. Arsenal’s central mid area is currently occupied by Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini who are constantly failing to deliver top notch performance. Let us study how Joao will fit into Wenger’s tactics and compute the odds of him agreeing terms with the gunners.
The Portuguese talisman is a versatile midfield player who comforts himself in central, defensive and number ten midfield roles. He is well known for his pin point passing and vision. On an average he constructs 1.8 chances per game with a passing accuracy of 87%. He frequently delivers long balls in order to open up opposition’s defense this will be very helpful in Arsenal’s style of play as players like Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Oliver Giroud are deadly during one on one situations in front of the keeper. He is an amazing set piece taker as many of his set pieces have lead to goals and he also has the a vision to score form direct free kicks.
Defensively he is very sound and skillful as he times his tackles and interceptions perfectly. On an average he makes 3.4 tackles per game. He is also very good at killing counter attacks with the likes of his perfect interceptions and amazing standing tackles. This aspect will be very helpful for Arsenal as they are very sloppy in this area and have conceded many goals on counterattack, for example Rooney’s goal in this Saturday’s game or Diego Costa’s goal at Stamford Bridge. There are a few negativities in Moutinho, one of them is he takes too many shots on goal and very few are on target where as he is also very clumsy when it comes to finishing inside the box.
Taking it all into the account Joao will be a very good addition in the Gunners squad as his qualities and abilities are somewhat similar to the old Arteta but with more defensive work rate and lesser passing range. He has all the elements to fill the unavoidable void in Arsenal’s midfield. But there are a few drawbacks as well, Joao is 28 years old and Monaco have quoted a price tag of 30 million on him which is highly uneconomical and he will not be a long term solution for the problem. It will be very easy for gunners to sign Moutinho as no other European giant is approaching him. Whereas other midfielder with same qualities are also linked with a move to Arsenal and some are also in Wenger’s radar, hence it is upto Arsene which player he wants in his squad.