The outpouring of concern for Arsenal’s fragility in midfield and defence continues, with another ex-Gunner prescribing Bayern Munich midfield shepherd, Javi Martinez, as the solution to the malady in defensive midfield.
John Hartson played for Arsenal between 1995 and 1997 which does not represent an awful long period of engagement but like Merson and co, have not shied away from voicing his opinion on the urgency for things to change with the team’s set up if the glories of their good ol’days are to return.
Speaking to Goal, the former Arsenal striker said:
“I feel teams get at Arsenal too easily at the back. Chelsea have two commanding central defenders but Arsenal have none.”
“A defensive midfield player should offer protection. I like Mikel Arteta but he doesn’t have the presence, while Abou Diaby can’t string matches together. I see Calum Chambers eventually playing there but the summer buy from Southampton is needed elsewhere just now.”
“Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira has been linked and, although it would cost them 40m to get his signature, Arsenal have the money and can’t afford not to spend it. If they can’t get him, Javi Martinez at Bayern Munich would fit the bill.”
It is interesting that Hartson has chosen Martinez as his own man for the job as the 26 year old Spaniard is a good in marshalling the midfield as he could be as a central defender. A calm distributor of the ball, Martinez injury at the infant stage of this season prompted Bayern boss Pep Guardiola to move for Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid and that alone should be enough to tell any observer how good Martinez is.
Guardiola is actually spoilt for choice in midfield with Philip Lahm his reliable quarter-back, while Thiago Alcantara and Bastian Schweinsteiger the other heavyweights in the middle. The acquisition of the highly rated Mehdi Benatia from Roma shows that Bayern were going for more natural defenders to provide competition to Dante and Jerome Boateng, and as such, it could be that there is a reasonable chance for Martinez to be available for Arsenal.
However, the fact that he is still nursing the same injury he suffered from the beginning of the season may prove a hindrance to any January enquiry, never mind his hefty price tag.
Martinez is one of the stellar and capable names in the tray from whom Wenger can pick to fix the dry wick in the center of his midfield. While Khedira remains a possibility, Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin has opened up the possibility of a move to the Gunners by stating an unvarnished desire to turn out for a big club.
Perry Groves – who played for both Arsenal and Southampton – thinks the right oil for the omelet is Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Plenty of choices, but will Wenger heed any?
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