Why Arsenal should go all out to sign Leandro Paredes in January
Back in November 2016, a report from the Calciomercato had claimed Arsenal were interested in signing Leandro Paredes, who was then plying his trade for AS Roma. However, a deal didn’t go through and he went on to join Zenit Saint-Petersburg in the summer of 2017.
Leandro Paredes, 25, joined Paris Saint-Germain in January from Zenit and made 16 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, assisting twice. And just nine months later, his stock is on the up and the 25-year-old has bulldozed his way back into the Argentina national team.
The Argentinean’s performances this calendar year have been really impressive which should prompt Arsenal to reignite their interest in him when the transfer window reopens.
The Gunners lack an anchor in midfield who can boss the tempo of games with his passing and distribution skills. Despite being the captain, Granit Xhaka’s lapses of concentration are simply not good enough for Arsenal.
Lucas Torreira is a very good defensive midfielder, known for his ability to break opposition attacks. But he doesn’t offer much going forward, while Matteo Guendouzi cannot be categorized as a creative player.
Dani Ceballos, who is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, adds creativity to the side but cannot be relied upon when it comes to putting in defensive shifts.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal need an all-rounded midfielder who can make a difference at both ends of the pitch. To that end, Paredes would be a good fit for Unai Emery’s side.
A deep-lying playmaker by trade, Paredes is versatile enough to play in various positions across the midfield. In terms of his attributes, he has the ability to dictate the tempo of a game, what with his composure when in possession of the ball and his wonderful range of passing.
The Argentina international has the defensive attributes to play in that holding midfield role and is a far better dribbler and defender when compared to Xhaka.
Paredes is not conservative in his play as a defensive midfielder, but rather looks to open up play in between the lines and out wide when needed to. He could be the effective link for Arsenal in the means of getting the ball in the promising areas on the field and aiding quick transitions from defence to attack.
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Furthermore, the former AS Roma man is great at recycling the ball and pressing, whilst possessing the capability to go on and score goals for his team.
Arsenal would really benefit from having someone of Paredes’ skillset amongst their ranks. He is under contract with PSG until the summer of 2023, so he will not come cheap, but the Gunners should do everything within their power to bring him to England this January, nonetheless.