Arteta and Flamini Not Enough - Arsenal Need Biglia
With the news of Arturo Vidal's impending move to Bayern Munich, and Morgan Schneiderlin already becoming a Red Devil, it's clear to see that Arsene Wenger is counting on Mikel Arteta to serve as the primary back up for Francis Coquelin in the holding midfield role.
This strategy is flawed.
The world has yet to see Francis Coquelin complete a full year of football in the Barclay's Premier League.
Wenger, despite whatever he may say in public, must have some slight concerns about how his rising star will cope with the mental and physical demands of an entire season. Coquelin was fantastic from December to May last season, but now he's got to do the same job for nearly double the amount of time, double the amount of games, with double the amount of expectation.
Perhaps Vic Ackers can devise a padded, Petr Cech-like, device that can be used to protect his nasal region, or Shad Forsythe can concoct a magic potion that keeps players free from injury for a calendar year, because counting on the soon to be AARP members Arteta and Matheiu Flamini won't provide the kind of coverage Wenger needs to mount a genuine title challenge.
It seems likely that Arsenal's season will get off to a flying start.
The burgeoning team chemistry that started to develop back in April, as described in my column here https://www.football.com/en-us/arsenal-s-burgeoning-team-chemistry/, is reaching an apex that will equate to a blazing commencement of the new campaign. Folks are healthy. Competition for spots is at its highest in a long, long time. Cech has been brought in to cover the smoker and the short man.
Things are looking up.
However, it will only take a little muscular niggle to the thigh, hamstring, or calf of one Francis Coquelin to send the whole thing into a tailspin.
Arsenal cannot challenge for the title if Coquelin goes down for 4-6 weeks and the senior citizen brigade of Arteta and Flamini are the only stopgap measures.
That's why it's time to renew a once-rumoured interest in Lazio's Lucas Biglia.
Biglia has been a critical part of Argentina's recent marches to the finals of the World Cup and Copa America, and could provide genuine bite and energy in the midfield that would serve as a legitimate option if Coquelin needs a day off or becomes injured.
Although he is no spring chicken, Biglia still has enough left in the tank to get Arsenal through a potential Coquelin layoff. He is hardworking and selfless, built to destroy opposition attack, good at regaining possession quickly, and delights in presenting the ball to the flare players he suits up next to.
Biglia is quite similar to Coquelin in his playing style, and has a priceless plethora of experience on the big stage that would go a long way for the Gunners. Having a World Cup Final, and a Copa America Final, under his belt make him a perfect addition to a squad looking to go on silverware-eating binge.
Unfortunately for Biglia, he came up just a bit short in both finals for the Albiceleste, which means this season, when he will be at his physical and mental peak as a player, is the right time to capitalize on his animalistic unfullfilled hunger.
Signing Biglia would signify a clear intention to challenge for the Premier league now, this season, not the next, not after a few youngsters develop, not in the future when poor old William Carvalho's leg heals, right, bloody, now.
It's time to feed the beast and provide cover for Coquelin...
Time to bring Lucas Biglia to Arsenal.