Arsenal should beat Spurs to sign Steven N’Zonzi next summer
According to the latest reports from the Mirror, Arsenal manager Unai Emery is keen to bolster his squad next summer and Roma’s French international midfielder, Steven N’Zonzi, is on the Spaniard’s wishlist.
The 30-year-old, who was a part of the French team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, made his move to Serie A giants Roma from Sevilla last summer and has been one of the standout performers for his team. N’Zonzi has racked up a total of 28 appearances for the Giallorossi across all competitions so far this season.
A youth product of French club Amiens, N’Zonzi was snapped up by then Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers in 2009. He spent three seasons at Ewood Park before joining Stoke City in 2012 upon Blackburn’s relegation from the top flight. The Frenchman had a successful three-year stint at Stoke, following which he completed a move to Sevilla, winning the Europa League in his debut season in the La Liga.
Arsenal need to find cover for the impending departure of Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny while Spurs are likely to dip into the transfer market next season to sign a replacement for Mousa Dembele, who left for China in January.
And N’Zonzi, with his quality and experience, would be an ideal buy for either of the two north London clubs. A man no stranger to English football, the 30-year-old made a staggering 195 appearances in the Premier League for Stoke City and Blackburn over the course of 6 seasons earlier in his career. Given that he has the experience, tenacity, temperament and the style of play to succeed in the Premier League, both Arsenal and Spurs should make a move for him next summer, although his age might be a bit of an issue.
Regarded as an intelligent, hardworking and tenacious central defensive midfielder, N’Zonzi is known for his calmness and composure in possession and ball distribution in the middle of the park. While the Frenchman is adept at breaking up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions, he also knows how to dictate the tempo of the game with his flawless passing and tactical responsibility. To add to that, he knows how to use possession well, operating as a deep-lying playmaker with his vision. Furthermore, he is quite strong in the air and he never hesitates to put his foot out when needed.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal can bag a massive coup if they can beat their north London rivals to land the French midfield maestro next summer.
The Gunners have endured an up and down campaign in their first season under Unai Emery. The Spaniard strengthened the squad with the signing of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira last summer but he needs at least three or four transfer windows to completely overhaul the squad that he inherited from Arsene Wenger.
While Torreira and Guendouzi have both adapted well to Emery’s high-pressing tactics, Granit Xhaka has struggled due to his inability to retain possession very well. Moreover, the Swiss international has been poor with his positional awareness, often exposing the backline far too easily.
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Suffice to say, Arsenal need more depth in their midfield options to cover for the departure of Ramsey and Elneny and N’Zonzi, with his tough-tackling nature, can add that steel to the midfield. That said, the Gunners should go all out to sign the former Premier League star next summer.