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Arsenal are set to move for a central midfielder this summer as Unai Emery gets down to work at the Emirates.
A host of names have been linked with Arsenal since Emery’s arrival – including those who have played under him in recent years.
Among those linked are former Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi and Adrien Rabiot, an arguably more exciting option.
The 21-year-old has just one year left on his deal with the Ligue 1 champions are there have been suggestions he could be on the move this summer, with Arsenal one of the clubs mentioned as a possible destination, reports Football.London.
And given the club are on the look out for a defensive midfielder to come in and slot into Emery’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, recent comments from Arsenal’s head coach about Rabiot will be interesting for fans hoping to see the France international arrive this summer.
Emery was speaking to Marti Perarnau, the author of “Pep Confidential” and “Pep Guardiola: The Evolution”, on his time at PSG and the interview has been translated by Get French Football News .
Emery said: “Let’s talk about Rabiot. He’s a central midfielder, who is more comfortable playing as a defensive midfielder rather than a creative one. Even if he remains more of box-to-box, rather than a defensive midfielder.
“When you want to play with a defensive, creative and box-to-box-midfielders in fixed positions, Rabiot finds himself confronted to a problem. He has to run, run, run and not play in a fixed position statically. And even less so with his back turned on the action.
“Rabiot doesn’t really like playing as a defensive midfielder, he likes playing as a box-to-box, but I prefer him as a defensive midfielder. That’s why after the elimination against Real Madrid [in the 2017/18 Champions League], I told him he would play as a defensive midfielder.
“In that position, he can be faced with play and switch around with [Marco] Verratti. He is more competitive in these conditions. With certain players, you can’t impose a strict idea. You have to adapt yourself to their characteristics in order to win in individual and collective competitiveness.”
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