The business of this winter window looks all but done. But Arsenal will be on alert for players who will be available next summer and French midfielder, Rio Mavuba, has confirmed he will be one of them.
Mavuba, 30, has a contract with Lille which runs out at the end of the season and the Express reports the player has set his sights on a new adventure away from the club where he’s spent the last seven years.
“I am closer to an exit,” the 30-year-old said. “My wish? To go abroad. It could be good. I hope the situation is fixed before the end of the season.”
To the regular Arsenal fan, it does not appear as though the team is in need of more midfielders and it could stun a few if Wenger did sign one. There had been a time in the season when an additional midfielder would have been of essence but the injured players are almost all returning to full fitness and it will be hard to see where one gets in at the moment, unless he’s exceptional.
And that is not a given, either, as Gooners have been treated to consecutive exceptional performances by three of her midfielders over the past week. Tomas Rosicky had fans wishing he was ten years younger than he is with a supreme Captain’s performance in the FA Cup tie at Brighton while the praise hasn’t quite quelled on Santi Cazorla’s masterclass at the Etihad.
Francis Coquelin’s supposed lag in signing the new deal tabled before him have got Wenger sweating on the ignominy of losing him on a free having seen him rise to the top of his current choices in defensive midfield; the aggressive calm he brought with his substitute appearance at the Amex spoke volumes.
Mavuba, though, is quite a decent deep lying playmaker and it’s not a waste of time that the club are looking at him. He did not have a steady role in the French World Cup campaign but his time captaining Lille has been successful over the years. His small stature gives him that firmness on the ground to hold off challenges while making good forward passes and while the rave is about Paul Pogba and the younger stars, he could yet make an impression on a big stage soon.
Perhaps he could add some experience to the Arsenal midfield but you never know what brand of the Arsenal midfield 30-year olds he would fit into. Cazorla-Rosicky, Arteta-Flamini are all 30-plus and given Mavuba’s role is more near the latter pair’s… Hmmm.
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