Arsenal are reportedly interested in a move for Miralem Pjanic, a transfer that is a backwards step for the Gunners.
According to Sport, the Gunners have joined Tottenham and Chelsea in the race for the Barcelona ace. The Catalan giants have made the Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder available for transfer.
Arsenal are on the lookout for a top-quality replacement for Granit Xhaka with the 28-year-old closing in on a move to AS Roma. However, should the Gunners be targeting a move for a 31-year-old?
Mikel Arteta’s side have been linked with the likes of Yves Bissouma, Manuel Locatelli and Ruben Neves. All three would prove younger, more mouldable alternatives to the east European.
The La Liga outfit are in the midst of a financial crisis. Barcelona have to reduce their wages in order to register players they’ve signed this summer. It makes a move for the 31-year-old cheap and intriguing.
Arsenal shouldn’t go for cheap, old alternatives like Pjanic amid transfer links
A move for the 31-year-old really does leave you scratching your head.
One of the prime issues with Xhaka is his lack of mobility in the middle of the park. His lack of pace has made him susceptible to picking up fouls and thus, more cards.
Red cards were very much a theme during the Swiss captain’s early years at the Emirates Stadium. He was a liability with his temperament a real worry.
Replacing him with an equally slow Pjanic makes little sense.
Then there’s the lack of quality from the Bosnian.
He was in shocking form for Barcelona last season, seeing him make just 33 appearances across all competitions.
The midfielder averaged fewer passes than all three of Arsenal’s senior central players. When you’re a talented player at the heart of a team, demanding the ball and making things happen is your bread and butter.
Pjanic used to be talented, however, that’s all in the past. Replacing Xhaka with would be a baffling decision from the Gunners.