Despite his reputation for not being willing to spend big money on the transfer market, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly targeting Sunderland midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin to address one of the more talked-about weak points for the club. Some speculation had been going around that Schneiderlin might be considering a reunion with former boss Mauricio Pochettino in Tottenham, but at least one report has said that he is leaning toward a move to Arsenal.
Despite the record signing of Mesut Ozil before last season, Wenger continues to have this reputation for being gun-shy with making bid deals. In an ESPNFC interview, he addressed the charge, saying that while he was not willing to spend money that the club did not have, for the right player he would pull the trigger and make the big deal. He claimed that the perception of him that he was unwilling to spend money was a holdover from earlier days when the club did not have the money to use. Given the current shortcomings of the Arsenal midfield, it may well be that the Frenchman is a player Wenger will consider worthy of his attention.
Schneiderlin has been on fire this season, named by Sam Tighe on Twitter as one of the five best players in the league, and could potentially make a huge difference for the club. With a passing accuracy rating just shy of 90 percent, he might be exactly the presence in the midfield to improve the Arsenal counter-attack. His skill at reading the field and finding attackers accurately with his passes is exactly what Wenger needs to make his offense work. Schneiderlin is smart enough to pick up Wenger’s schemes without much difficulty, which is another point of consideration for the manager as he chooses his targets for the transfer market.
Another possible target for Wenger is Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund, though he will reportedly face competition for him from Manchester United. Manager Louis van Gaal has been the focus of rumors surrounding Hummels, despite a hefty price tag. If Wenger is going to spend bigger money in the January break, Hummels is a player who would be worth a look if he is available and able to be stolen. Hummels and Schneiderlin both would be a veritable coup. It is, of course, early to say what will happen in the transfer window, but the current rumors do present positive possibilities if they are attainable.
There is a lot of pressure on Wenger to land a top-four spot this season. Despite the fact that he has been in his position for longer than any other manager, there have been whispers that his job may be in jeopardy if Arsenal does not finish well this season. Whether or not this is the case, Wenger may leave on his own if he has a frustrating year and feels as though he is no longer being effective in making the club successful. His motivations are his own, and they do not lie with a need for an Arsenal paycheck. Whether Schneiderlin is the key to bringing the club back to top form or not, he will certainly not be idle as January and the transfer market come.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald – Flickr License