According to a report by The Mirror, Arsenal are interested in signing Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega this summer. After failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second consecutive season, the Gunners have a mammoth task ahead of them.
Arsenal must ensure a top-four finish at the very least next term. It won’t be easy but with new manager Unai Emery at the helm, it looks like they are moving in the right direction.
Strengthening the midfield must be a priority for Emery in the ongoing transfer window. Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka were rather inconsistent last season whereas Jack Wilshere has confirmed that he will, in fact, leave the club this summer.
Without Wilshere, Arsenal’s midfield options will be quite depleted, thus making a strong case for Emery to sign new midfielders. The Mirror further claims that the Londoners are close to signing Lucas Torreira but it looks like Emery wants to add Banega to his ranks as well.
Banega is an incredibly versatile midfielder who is blessed with numerous attributes. Over the course of the last season, he started 15 games as a defensive midfielder and 13 games as a central midfielder. Interestingly enough, the 29-year-old was also deployed as a No.10 by Sevilla.
His ability to attack and defend with equal ease could prove to be quite resourceful for Emery, who must strive to make the Gunners a force to reckon with once again. And signing Banega could go a long way in solving their woes in the centre of the park.
In 48 appearances across competitions last season, Banega chipped in with 5 goals and 5 assists. The player also averaged 2.1 tackles and 2.4 key passes per game while completing 2.8 dribbles.
However, his aerial prowess is a tad weak but besides that, he seems like an ideal versatile midfielder. In addition, Banega seems to have a creative side as well, having created 57 chances in 28 La Liga appearances last season.
Now, signing Banega and Torreira should strengthen Arsenal’s midfield but it will take away opportunities from the likes of Ramsey, Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Even as Arsenal endured a terrible season, the young Maitland-Niles proved to a force to reckon with. He clearly has a lot of potential and surely, Emery must consider tapping into it. While signing someone of Banega’s calibre could be a coup, Arsenal might just find themselves with one too many midfielders at hand.