According to reports, Arsenal are interested in signing Sevilla star Steven Nzonzi in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners, who have reportedly identified Nzonzi as the man to add steel to their midfield, have received a boost in his chase as Sevilla are showing an interest in Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente.
The fact that Sevilla are looking out for alternatives could be a big sign for the Gunners that the Spanish side are ready to let Nzonzi depart, with the Frenchman having a £35m release clause in his contract.
Arsene Wenger left Arsenal after 22 long years after the end of the last season and the north Londoners have appointed Unai Emery to take the club back to the top. Emery has shown an urgency and desire to succeed at the Emirates Stadium after quickly snapping up Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer from Juventus.
Besides the defence, Arsenal also need to strengthen their central midfield area. Granit Xhaka has failed to live up to his reputation since joining Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, while Aaron Ramsey has blown hot and cold.
On the other hand, Jack Wilshere, who is out of contract at the end of this month, has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer. So, signing a quality midfield player this summer should be on top of Emery’s priority list.
And Nzonzi could be the right player to solve Arsenal’s midfield conundrum next season. It was Emery, who signed Nzonzi from Stoke City during his time in charge of Sevilla. And having worked with the player previously, the Spanish boss is aware of the Frenchman’s strengths and weaknesses.
There is very little doubt that Nzonzi would fit the bill perfectly at Arsenal, following his impressive displays for Sevilla. The 29-year-old has been a revelation since moving to La Liga and he is exactly the type of player the Gunners have been missing since Patrick Vieira left for Juventus in 2005.
Nzonzi is powerful, strong, accomplished with the ball at his feet and has bags of experience when it comes to playing at the highest level. He is a top class ball-winner as his game is built around pace and power. The Frenchman would also add a more robust and physical nature to the Arsenal’s midfield.
Nzonzi is also capable of producing long-range scorchers. He possesses quality in both feet and could strike up a stunning partnership in the middle of the park with Xhaka and Ramsey.
He could be the ideal player to get the best out of Xhaka, who has failed to deliver while playing in deeper roles at the Emirates Stadium. Nzonzi would be the perfect leader in the middle of the park for Arsenal as he dictates the tempo of a game, protects the defence and breaks up attacks.
Having worked with Nzonzi at Seville, Emery is aware of the Frenchman’s attributes and must quickly close the deal. Splashing £35m on the Sevilla midfielder could turn out to be an excellent piece of business for the Gunners.