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Blog: Is William Carvalho Really The Answer To Arsenal’s Midfield Problems?

Carvalho could be available for £20million in summe. At 23, he could be a long term solution for Gunners.

Since the long lost days of Patrick Vieira, Emmanual Petit and the graceful Gilberto Silva, Arsenal have never quite replaced them. Three players who are the epitome of the midfield general that Arsenal are seriously lacking. Solidity comes naturally when a side contains leaders, a pack of men who provide the grit and granite of a side’s structure. It’s patently obvious that at Arsenal in this current side, there are a grand total of zero. Overwhelmed by a flux of technical players – small, cowardly and lacking in physical presence, Mr Wenger has a job on his hands to roughen up his midfield trio.

January is only 11 days away, and with the transfer window approaching, Arsene Wenger is prepared to spend. ” I’m not scared to spend money,” said Wenger. “If you go out with me one night, you will understand that.” A quote that I’m sure most Arsenal fans wanted to hear, humorously and seriously. With the failure to purchase a centre-half in Summer  looming over Wenger’s head like a grey cloud, a more serious issue needs to be addressed. Sign a defensive midfielder.

Names have been thrown around for up to three years now in this lengthy search for the ‘right man’. Chelsea exemplified how easy it was with their purchase of Matic, a man who ‘would stand guard at the door when Terry and Cahill are asleep’. The most anticipated name however, is that of William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon’s hot prospect.

22 years of age, this Portuguese brute has enforced himself upon two of the largest stages in world football. Commanding in his performances for Sporting in the Champions League, he also stood out in the minority of games he featured in at the World Cup earlier this year. If this saga was a jig-saw, Arsenal have found the fitting piece.

at 6ft 1, his dominance in the air is an asset to any team looking to break up play in central areas. Dominating his quarter, he would rarely lose an aerial duel, seeing Arsenal retain possession more frequently, and look to break from deeper areas at least expecting times. Corners, oh how bad we are at corners. After cowardly defending on Liverpool’s 97th minute goal last Sunday, it’s fair to say we need a solider in the box. Carvalho has the attitude that any defensive player should have. An attitude that says ‘I’m going to win that ball, and I’m going to do everything I can to do so.’ It’s a shame to say no Arsenal player possesses that mentality just yet…

Shielding a leaky partnership of Calum Chambers and Per Mertesacker is another issue worth addressing. With experience in his role and sturdy in his tackles, not much would get past the athleticism Carvalho produces. With Koscielny fit, it’s a different story, but in bigger games, our midfield must show up. At the pin-point of the diamond, William Carvalho would be assembled to break up play, taking advantage of his long legs for interceptions to break down attacks. Is he the answer… oh you bet he is.

Where would he fit in? Easy. Playing in front of the back four, he would be the deepest midfield player. In front we could deploy an energetic Aaron Ramsey to offer some defensive support, and Mesut Ozil who would pull the strings in a formidable attack. Making up for the lack of defensive work-rate in our striking options, Carvalho would be an essence of brilliance, whilst our success in the ‘big games’ would drastically improve. Arsenal are looking for an enforcer who wants to play dirty football, roughen the opponent up, get stuck in… but it seems clear that there’s no one out there to cope with the modern game now. £25 million should do it, and you’ll see that it will be the best £25million that Arsenal may ever spend.