LONDON, England, June 3- Arsenal are set to bid more than £10 million (Sh1.295b) for Glasgow Celtic star Victor Wanyama, according to The Scottish Sun and other publications in the UK.
Wanyama would be the perfect signing for Arsenal and would instantly upgrade a vital area of need.
The combative midfield ace is exactly the kind of powerful runner Arsenal have been missing for too long. Wanyama possesses strong defensive qualities and is a natural barrier in front of a back four.
He would add an extra element of physicality to a technique-based midfield. That is not to say Wanyama is not skillful enough to suit Arsenal’s stylish, passing football.
He is comfortable in possession and accurate and inventive as a passer. Wanyama is more direct than the members of Arsenal’s current midfield, but that is no bad thing.
The Gunners lack a player capable of quickly transitioning defence to attack. That requires a rugged and dynamic, box-to-box midfielder.
Manager Arsene Wenger attempted to have Abou Diaby perform that role at the start of last season. Diaby’s strength, technique and long-striding quickness, made him a natural progressive link from defence, through the middle and into forward areas.
Sadly, as has often been the case, Diaby simply could not stay healthy. When he inevitably returned to the treatment table, Arsenal’s speedy brand of counterattacking was wrecked.
The Gunners simply do not possess another player with the power and athleticism to perform this vital role. Wenger tried Jack Wilshere there initially.
The problem was Wilshere spent too much time too far forward. He did not often tailor his movement to the flow of play. This created a serious imbalance at both ends of the midfield.
Eventually the French coach simply opted to play Aaron Ramsey alongside Mikel Arteta. He deployed two deep-lying players. This made Arsenal tough to break down, but their forward play remained stymied.
As a result, Arsenal’s attacking play was below par. By Wenger’s high standards, the quality of Arsenal’s football was low during the 2012/13 campaign.
Signing Wanyama could change all that. He would give Arsenal sheer power in the middle of the field. He is a destructive force in deep areas and offers pace and strength as a marauding attacker.
The Kenya international won the Scottish Young Player of the Year award last season. The 21-year-old is a rising talent, but not quite yet a star.
In other words, Wanyama perfectly fits the mould of a textbook Wenger signing. Even so, the timing of the report is curious.
It comes just days after former Arsenal player Perry Groves suggested Wenger should purchase Wanyama, according to London24.com. The player’s fee has been set for a while.