Santi Cazorla, when fit and firing, provides a fine balance to the Arsenal midfield. He is an excellent passer of the ball and has a great ability to dictate the tempo of the game from midfield. When he is around, Arsenal look like a completely different side. In the last two seasons, including this one, Cazorla’s injury problems have hurt Arsenal badly. Probably, that is why Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has decided to find a direct replacement of the 32-year-old Spaniard.
According to reports from the British press, Wenger may have found his man in Miralem Pjanić. The Bosnia international joined Juventus from Roma in the summer for a fee of around £25m, and has quickly established himself as a key player for the Bianconeri. Wenger has not only shown a keen interest, but also has personally contacted the player to facilitate a move to the Emirates. Juventus are unlikely to sell him in January, but a potential summer transfer could be on the cards.
Pjanić would be a great signing for the Gunners. He is intelligent, reliable with his passing and good at dribbling. Another key feature of his game is his excellent delivery from set pieces, with him scoring some memorable goals in Italy during his stint with Roma. He drops deep, is good at interception, and can quickly instigate an attack. In more than one ways, he is a player similar to Cazorla.
On paper, Pjanić would seamlessly fit into the Arsenal set up. Like Cazorla, he needs a strong defensive midfielder alongside him. At Roma, he had Radja Nainggolan doing the dirty defensive work, while he was given more freedom to create from the midfield. In Turin, he is supported by either Claudio Marchisio or Hernanes. At Arsenal, he could easily fit into Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 system, with either Granit Xhaka or Francis Coquelin playing alongside him.
His potential arrival could put an end to Jack Wilshere‘s career at Arsenal. The England midfielder is currently on loan at Bournemouth, and enjoying a fruitful campaign. However, Arsenal are yet to offer him a new contract, which puts his future in doubt. Pjanić is a naturally fit player as compared to Wilshere and would bring different qualities from what the England midfielder can offer.
The big question is – will Juventus sell Pjanić? Probably, no is the answer. Juventus are looking to build a strong midfield unit centering around Pjanić, and the club is in no hurry to part ways with the player they have signed him on a five year contract. They have little reason to let him go.