Could it really happen? After signing a former Premier League midfielder who got crocked at AC Milan, could Wenger really be interested in making such a move for the second time in two years?
That would be the wonder that strikes every Gooner when you read the story in the Express of a possible interest Arsenal could have in signing former Chelsea mdfielder, Michael Essien, when he becomes a free agent in July. The 33-year old has not been the same player signed for a club record fee in 2005 since leaving England in 2011, various injury spells leaving him much of a shadow of the player referred to as the ‘Bison’.
Arsenal have been in need of a strong defensive midfielder for a while but anything that brings Essien into the list of considerations has to spell desperation.
When Essien was the king pin in Chelsea’s midfield, Mattieu Flamini was our own strongman in his prime, but while the frenchman’s second coming has not proven the perfect deal, even as a free transfer, signing an older Essien at the same ‘price’ would not be any different in outcome. The Ghanaian midfielder was a world beater at Stamford Bridge, with exceptional technical ability even in both feet, but nothing in his stints at Real Madrid or Milan over the past three years have suggested he would return to his form of last decade.
So the search must continue to be within the circles of those who are either already established or have the potential to do so in no distant future. Krystian Bielik has been watched for several months by the club scouts and enough seems to have been seen of him to suggest he can start doing the job even at 17. The young Pole is of the frame of the archetypal defensive midfielder and with the technical ability to boot, Wenger is ready to give him the chance to inherit that throne that has long been vacant since the departures of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.
Essien was a real handful in his best days but it will be difficult to place him above any one of Carvalho or Schneiderlin, two of the top established holding players to whom the Gunners bosses have been referred as the perfect solutions. Nothing has been said in concrete terms by Wenger of any links to either one, but he has not made mention of Essien either.
Hope he never does.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.