Ever since the Brazilian, Gilberto Silva left Arsenal in 2008 for Panathinaikos, I really don’t think that the crucial defensive midfielder role has been fielded with the same quality. Wenger has tried with many players, Flamini, Song and even trying to turn a former winger in Mikel Arteta into a defensive midfielder. But none of the names have really performed in that role, and haven’t been consistent especially in the big games.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been at Southampton since 2008 and has played in most of the English divisions, going through league one, Championship and now playing in the biggest league in the world. However he is certainly not playing for one of the biggest clubs currently, well not anymore they are not. Southampton managed to sign the Frenchmen from Strasbourg for an estimated £1.2 million but without a doubt his value would have risen throughout his career and especially with his impressive performances for Southampton in the premier league, guiding them to an impressive 8th place finish in only their second season back in the big time.
Morgan Schneiderlin is a very experienced player and has featured for his country at nearly every level and has been selected for the France squad in the 2014 world cup. He has made over 200 appearances for Southampton, scoring just 10 goals. The 24 year old may look to follow his former team mates away from St Marys and there is many premier league clubs and clubs from abroad looking at the holding midfielder.
People may say that Arsenal could do a lot better than signing a Southampton player to play a crucial role in the team, however the defensive midfielder role can be very different in England as it is a lot physical and I think that with Schneiderlin having played in the premier league for 2 seasons now he has experience the league and could be more effective than signing a defensive midfielder from abroad. Liverpool back in 2009, signed Alberto Aquilaini from Roma, for a fee of £17 million. However the Italian didn’t live up to his price tag and only made 18 appearances for the Merseyside club. That is an example of a club looking abroad for a holding midfielder and it not paying off.
Arsene Wenger is currently out in Brazil, apparently keeping a close eye on the two French players, Schneiderlin and Debuchy. He is out there to see if the Southampton player can make that extra step up and cope with world class players and so far he has not put a foot wrong. Southampton has rated the player at £15-£20 million, which is a lot cheaper than the other defensive midfielders that we have been linked with. And saving money could be crucial as we can look to spend more of the cash on a few quality strikers.
I believe that Morgan Schneiderlin could fit into Arsenal’s playing style very easily and well, as his current team play a similar way to the gunners, with a slow approach at times but suddenly have a quick turn of pace in the passing and open teams up easily. Hopefully some of the French players who have also been picked for Brazil 2014 can persuade Schneiderlin to move to London and join up with his French colleagues, Oliver Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.