Once upon a time on the red side of North-London creative midfielders were stockpiled in abundance. Fans were blessed with the opportunity to watch the likes of Aleksandr Hleb, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin and in recent years Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey and so on weave their magic up and down the country, week in, week out.
Whilst players like this were on the pitch there always seemed to be an opportunity for Arsenal to claw their way back into games or break down deep blocks late in games to score winners, however in recent years these styles of players have dried up at the club. Gone are the days where Wenger would send out multiple of these creative midfielders and create endless chances in matches and Arsenal now find themselves in an unfamiliar position of having a severe shortage of players who can make things happen.
The lack of difference makers in the side has led to Arsenal becoming predictable and somewhat stale to watch in recent years and a solution for this problem is needed, and quick.
There aren’t many players around the world who can solve this problem overnight, in fact there may only be a handful, but one of these supreme talents is Aston Villa’s talisman and captain Jack Grealish. Those who have watched Aston Villa in recent years have been fortunate enough to see Jack Grealish put his boyhood club on his back and take them up from the Championship to the Premier League and, based almost purely on Grealish’s performances, the midlands club have solidified their position as a club in England’s top division.
Grealish would slot in perfectly to wherever Arteta chooses to play him, whether this be from the left or from a number ten role. The fluidity which Arsenal’s attackers have played with since the introduction of Smith-Rowe to the side demonstrates that Grealish would have the opportunity to roam around the pitch and operate in areas he sees as the most beneficial. Grealish’s ability to not only make chances himself but for others through his immense dribbling or his art for picking out a pass means that Arsenal may not have to worry about stockpiling creative players when one player can do it all.
He would add a perfect balance to the squad if operating from the left with Pepe or Saka inverted on the other flank and if operating through the middle with Pepe and Saka both supporting, it would lead to Arsenal having one of the most exciting attacks in English football.
However, this is a dream signing for Arsenal and it is likely it is out of the club’s reach. Luring the Villa captain away from his boyhood club would be very difficult and prices in excess of £80 million has been reported around the country. With Manchester City being the favourites to sign Jack Grealish it appears that Arsenal may be left behind financially making this signing even more unlikely. However, we can all dream and with enough collective wishing and praying, Grealish could one day be in an Arsenal shirt.