Why signing William Carvalho makes perfect sense for Arsenal
Arsenal have long needed replacements for Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira. The latter, arguably the best ever central midfielder in the Premier League. At last, at long, long last they may appear to be close to signing a worthy deputy.
Forget Sami Khedira, forget Morgan Schneiderlin. This guy eclipses both, and with ease. Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho has swiftly become one of the most desirable properties in world football in his position. Having been a bright star in an otherwise dismal World Cup campaign for Portugal, viewers were able to see first-hand what he could add to a football team such as Arsenal.
Carvalho has all the raw characteristics for the Premier League. Power, pace and strength are just fortunate foundations that Che has had to build on with other areas of his game. He is now one of the toughest tackling midfielders in Europe, has an eye for the simplistic, and can read the pattern of play.
Perhaps a trait that stands out more is Carvalho’s exceptional work rate; essential to succeeding in the Premier League. The Gunners have already apparently had a bid of £24m rejected for the player, who has a reported release clause of £37.5m – a price that the Portuguese outfit refuse to budge by much from.
Currently the Gunners have a host of talented midfield options, though a glaring hole is that they’re missing a specialist defensive midfielder for the long-term. The advanced three behind the striker pick themselves, with Wenger spoiled for choice. Record signing Mesut Ozil, who signed last summer for £42.5m, is an obvious starter, while Theo Walcott will most likely be deployed on the right, with either Santi Cazorla (subject of reported interest from Atletico Madrid), Lukas Podolski, or recent £32m signing Alexis Sanchez on the left.
There had been whispers of Wenger turning 22-year-old Jack Wilshere into a defensive midfielder, however, with Sporting understood to have said they will consider bids for Carvalho, the Frenchman may find the opportunity to sign him too good to turn down.
Aaron Ramsey who excelled last term, before sustaining an injury, is being tipped to go from strength to strength next campaign, and then there is Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, a versatile option that can fit into this Gunners jigsaw. With 32-year-old midfield general Mikel Arteta predicted to play a bit-part role, and question marks over Mathieu Flamini’s fitness, a new signing of Carvalho’s calibre could add enormous quality to a squad already brimming with talent.
As always, Wenger seems remarkably self-assured about his squad, and Arsenal’s chances next campaign, and it is easy to see why they are viewed as dark-horses to win the Premier League. At 6/1, they are fourth favourites, however, undoubtedly have the most settled squad in England’s top flight and, after winning the FA Cup in May, will be keen to push on.
Combining Carvalho with Ramsey, Wilshere et al will finally give the Gunners the balance they have been missing, and the Portugal international could very easily become a successor to Vieira.